The Future of Chico State’s seniors

The graduating class of 2023 discusses their futures post college.


Chico Rose Garden. Photograph: Nicholas Stamper/CSU Chico.

As the Spring semester winds down, the graduating students of Chico State prepare to enter the workforce. For many students, the excitement of graduating college is also met with ambiguity and uncertainty in terms of employment and housing. 

“I don’t have immediate plans after graduation except taking the much needed break because college has been draining,” communications senior Allison Harvey said. 

Business and communications dual major Lupita Aramburo said, “I was fortunate to secure an internship for this summer, so the hope is that they would extend an offer after I graduate in December.”

Living in California is not cheap, and housing costs are consistently rising.  Many students are from the Bay Area or Southern California, making the prospect of leasing an apartment in their home town daunting. 

 Marketing senior Sharon Thompson spoke about her post-grad housing plans. 

“My sister got into an MBA program in Colorado so we decided to make the jump together.” 

Communications senior Dylan West stated, “I plan on joining the Butte College Fire Academy and hopefully getting hired at a department, so I’m moving back in with my parents while my fire application is pending.”

In terms of postgraduate nervousness or anxiety, students vary. 

“I’m terrified of finding a job post-grad. Mostly because the job market is completely screwed, and I’m afraid of getting stuck in a job that doesn’t make me happy. There will probably be a lot of trial and error until I find a job that’s a fit for me,” Harvey said. 

Thompson, on the other hand, said, “I was fairly nervous because I was required to get a job to be secure with my move. But now that it’s all come into place I feel really happy about it.”

In modern society, there is a notion that the next logical step after graduating college is to immediately enter the workforce. Many people understand that the process of beginning a career isn’t as simple as that. Still, the pressure to find employment is a real feeling for graduating seniors. 

Some students have different timeframes for when they are expecting employment.

 “I’m nervous due to the competition in my field but I’m hoping to have a job in six months,” West said. 

 “In my time at Chico State I’ve made good connections with recruiters, and I make it a point to stay connected. I hope that I’m not unemployed for too long, more than three months otherwise, I’m not sure what I’ll be doing,” Aramburo added.

Public Health senior Cherie Higgs had a unique take on post grad employment. 

“I feel like there is no guarantee and the skill set that someone would need is changing day to day. It’s kind of intimidating to graduate and be told that we should be making all of this money but we have to gain the experience first,” Higgs said.

 “I’m planning on finding a job at a restaurant, grocery store, or something around that area so I can save money while actively looking for a full-time position,” Harvey added.

Students sometimes compare their post grad plans to their peers, further complicating their emotions.

Thompson said, “Looking internally I don’t feel like I’m as prepared, but I feel like everyone has that self doubt in one way or another.” 

 “I feel prepared in every aspect except for the financial stability of living on my own. I’m living with my parents until I can feel more secure. My friends are in similar positions,” West said.

 “I personally feel that I am prepared to work in corporate America. I needed my degree to achieve the compensation that I know I deserve and that I am capable of earning,” Aramburo said.

Harvey took a more optimistic approach regarding how prepared she felt compared to her peers.

 “I feel like it’s subjective. I am grateful that my parents were huge supporters of my educational endeavors, and being at a four-year university has taught me a lot of life lessons.” 

She also doesn’t see the need to compare her post grad life to her friends and peers.

“I genuinely won’t compare myself to others. I think it’s important to recognize that everyone is on a different path so my experiences are going to be different from others.”
For more information regarding employment opportunities visit the Chico State Career Center.

Nicholas Stamper can be reached at [email protected] or [email protected]