UC Berkeley News
Point of View

Point of View

Countdown to commencement: What's left to do and what's after Cal?

— The NewsCenter visited last week's Grad Fair, a resource festival where seniors rent caps and gowns and find graduation-related items and information. There we asked a captive audience on the check-out line about their post-graduation plans and the hurdles before them in the remaining few weeks until graduation. (For some it's about savoring the final, precious days of their undergraduate years; for others it's all about the stress.) Here's what 13 UC Berkeley seniors had to say.

Post-graduation plans: I'm going to work probably for two years, and then go back and get my masters in architecture. I'm excited — excited to graduate and start working, but also to go back and get my masters.

Hurdles before graduation: Finding a job. And the Cal Hawai'i Club is getting ready for our luau right now. There's going to be like 500 people — a full-on dinner, and then a show. I'm in charge of all the food this year. The program is all hula dancing and Tahitian dancing, and a couple of bands are coming and playing. I'm doing all dances this year, since it's my last.

Ashley Matsu, architecture (city and regional planning minor). Hometown: San Jose, CA
Ashley Matsu, architecture, with a city and regional planning minor. Hometown: San Jose, CA

Isaac Tse, Molecular and Cell Biology Hometown: Irvine, CA

Post-graduation plans: I'm going to work for a year or two, and then apply for pharmacy school. I'm looking forward to working, the real world, not being in school anymore, taking care of everything, not relying on my parents. That's going to be a challenge, but it's going to be fun, I hope.

At the same time it's sad that my parents are going to stop sending me money, and I'm going to stop asking them for money, and I'm not going to keep getting my scholarship for school. I've got to depend on myself, I guess.

Hurdles before graduation: Finals. I did't get much of senioritis, I don't know why. So I'm still struggling for classes. Also, I'm looking for a job right now. It's a lot at once.

Isaac Tse, molecular and cell biology
Hometown: Irvine, CA

Post-graduation plans: I'm looking forward to law school. Applying  to law school is exciting.

Hurdles before graduation: Finding a job while I study — a summer job, until I go to law school. I'm actually applying to law school very soon and I have to take LSATS very soon — on top of finals. I have a lot on my plate.

Saba Younus, political economy of industrial societies. Hometown: Union City, CA
Saba Younus, Political Economy of Industrial Societies, Hometown: Union City, CA

Claudia Trotch, History Hometown: San Jose, CA

Post-graduation plans: A lot of history majors teach or go on to law school — but I kind of want to see what else I can do. I've been interning at a publishing house and I might continue with that next year.

Hurdles before graduation: Writing my thesis. It's on 20th-century American film. I'm focusing on Disney animation; I'm watching animated movies over and over again. The thesis will be 30 to 50 pages.

Claudia Trotch, history. Hometown: San Jose, CA

Post-graduation plans: I'm probably going to work for myself. I have a small art-dealing business right now, which I'm going to try to expand on my own. I sell mainly modern-master print work — Joan Miró , Picasso, Chagall. Perhaps I'll go back to law school at some point.

Hurdles before graduation: A lot of essays; I think I have five. Probably the most interesting is my research project on counterfeit Andy Warhol prints. It's a stressful work load right now — trying to get through my school work while at the same time try to expand my own business. So it's a lot of hours.

Matthew Gilbert, art history and legal studies
Hometown: Santa Monica, CA

Matthew Gilbert, art history and legal studies

Regine Ho, social welfare Hometown: Oakland, CA

Post-graduation plans: Hopefully I'll go to grad school in social welfare. I want to work in a non-profit in the Oakland area — because I grew up in the area and want to go back. I love the area. I'm not really pursing any specific aspect of non-profit work; just being in that field, I'd be happy with that.

Hurdles before graduation: For the first three years, I think I worked hard enough. So I'm enjoying my last year at Cal — just taking it all in. I'm taking it easy; I'm trying to enjoy it.

Regine Ho, social welfare. Hometown: Oakland, CA

Post-graduation plans: In my major, neurobiology, the problem when studying is that it's really hard to visualize, once you get down to the complex systems. So I'm going to try to make a software tool to visualize all this stuff — because it's so interesting. If that software project doesn't work out, then I'm going to go to graduate school.

Hurdles before graduation: There are no hurdles. Just to make sure I take care of the logistics of graduating, make sure my parents are informed and everything. There's no stress. I'm a senior but I'm graduating in December.

Lance Pollard, neurobiology and religious studies Hometown: San Diego, CA
Lance Pollard  neurobiology and religious studies  Hometown: San Diego, CA

Farah Memon, Mass communications Hometown: San Jose, CA

Post-graduation plans:  I've got no plans just yet. I'm looking for a job in marketing right now. The market is bad; there's not too many jobs out there at the moment. So I'm just going to wait it out and keep looking.

Hurdles before graduation: Papers, projects, finals — plus looking for jobs. It's all piling on suddenly.

Farah Memon, mass communications
Hometown: San Jose, CA

Post-graduation plans: I got accepted into the Graduate School of Education here, their Ph.D. program. So I'll be at Berkeley for another five years. The program is called Language, Literacy, and Culture and my interest will be urban education. So ultimately I'll be a professor of education.

Hurdles before graduation: My wife is pregnant with our first child, so it will be a pretty busy time for me.

Jeremiah Sims, rhetoric
Hometown: Richmond, CA

Jeremiah Sims, rhetoric Hometown: Richmond, CA

Sandra Yam, mass communications major Hometown: Morgan Hill, CA

Post-graduation plans: I'm going to get a career going in sports marketing, hopefully. For the '49ers or another professional league in the area — the '49ers, the A's, or the San José Sharks. I work for Cal Athletics right now, in the marketing department. I love it; it's a lot of fun.

Hurdles before graduation: Finals and the last papers that are due. Senioritis hit me hard, so I'm trying to pick up the slack.

Sandra Yam, mass communications
Hometown: Morgan Hill, CA

Post-graduation plans: I'm not sure if I want to go into regular medical school or naturopathic medical school. One of those. I would be starting next year, cause I'm taking a year off so I can travel — to a place in Germany or a place in South America, in Brazil or Peru, very close to the Amazon.

Hurdles before graduation: Just get my last assignments finished. But that's it. Besides that, it's all set.

José Peña, nutritional science (physiology and metabolism emphasis). Hometown: San Francisco, CA

Jose Pena nutritional science, with an emphasis on physiology and metabolism Hometown: San Francisco, CA

Jen Schellbach, art history Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

Post-graduation plans: I'll probably get a master's, but not my first year out; I'm taking my first year off. Right now I'm looking for an internship. I'm thinking of working in an art auction house — because I don’t want to be a teacher or a scholar, and the museum- industry pay sucks. In an auction house, I'd be working behind the scenes; I don't imagine I'll be an auctioneer. But hey, you never know!

Hurdles before graduation: I have three research papers; two are 10-pages, one's a 20-page. All my papers are fairly interesting. They’re all art historical. One is on queer visual culture, one is on ancient Greek art, and the other on ancient Egyptian art. Plus finals and making sure I get a decent GPA.

Jen Schellbach, art history
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

Post-graduation plans: I'm looking into going into teaching — at the college or university level. Hopefully I could come back and teach here. I enjoy studying about Indonesia, the Philippines. If I go back to Micronesia, I can definitely use all the things I learned here, and apply it there.

Hurdles before graduation: Being motivated to still go to school. Now that I think of leaving, I really want to go to more school — because I realize how much I'll miss being in the classroom.

Hedwig Hofschneider, history and South and Southeast Asian studies
Hometown: Saipan island, Micronesia

Hedwig Hofschneider History, South and Southeast Asian studies. Hometown: Saipan island, Micronesia

To read more about UC Berkeley undergraduates, see "The undergrad lowdown."