SDSU’s graduating seniors plan their next steps

by Nakia Richardson, Staff Writer

As another school year comes to a close, San Diego State seniors are gearing up for graduation. With every group of graduates, there are always different paths to pursue after receiving their degree. Whether it’s graduate school, working right away or moving back home, SDSU students are exploring their options.

Several SDSU students are leaving San Diego and are headed back home to work near their hometown. Courtney Bacon, 23, will be graduating with a bachelor of arts in interior design. Her hometown is Camarillo, California.

“The plan is to get a job,” she said. “With interior design, there is usually residential and commercial design. My dream would be to work at a commercial firm in the L.A. area. You can do hospitality design, hotels, restaurants, health care places, hospitals, etc.”

Senior Conner Mahaffy is earning his diploma in kinesiology. A Fresno native, he is not leaving his hometown for good anytime soon. 

“After graduating, I’m going back home and I’m working as an EMT,” Mahaffy said. “It’s mostly to get experience to get into grad school later. I was hoping to go to grad school for PA – a physician’s assistant.”

Although there are several people who are going back to work near home, several other future SDSU alumni have made the decision to stay close to San Diego for a little while longer.

Nicholas Virtue, who came to San Diego from Palmdale, California, is graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in musical education.

“I applied to the credential program here at State, so it’s still going to be another year of schooling here,” Virtue said. “After the credential program, I hope to get placed into a high school band program, where I can teach kids the love of music and run my own ensembles, marching band, jazz band, things like that.”

Hannah Friesen just finished her thesis and will receive her Bachelor of Arts in history. Her hometown is Anaheim, California, and she was accepted to graduate school not too far from there. However, she said she loves San Diego and doesn’t see herself leaving quite yet.

“I’m actually continuing to be at SDSU,” Friesen said. “I’m going to get my masters in history.”

She said after completing her Masters she is looking to get her PhD. She said her long-term goal is to become a professor and teach at a university.

Psychology and criminal justice double major Katie Cunis said her top priority is neither staying in San Diego or going back to her hometown of Ridgefield, Connecticut. For the 21-year-old, it’s trying to find the right place for her to continue her education.

“I’m going to grad school,” Cunius said. “I want to do forensics psychology. It’s psychology and the law – courtroom things. You can do research like competency trials.”

With all the different avenues available to graduating seniors, students have time to explore and figure out what’s best for them.