'True' Story: Bestselling Author Offers Tips to December Grads
About 550 graduates joined the ranks of the Oswego Alumni Association following the Sesquicentennial December Commencement last month in the Campus Center arena and convocation hall.
Bestselling children's book author Bruce Coville '73 advised members of the Class of 2011 to hang on to their "deepest, truest" selves as they enter the next, very fast, phase of life.
"As we hurtle out of the last century and into the new one the only thing we know for sure is that change is inevitable ⎯ and accelerating," said Coville. "Once you vault into the world ... it becomes too easy to lose track of your own deepest, truest beliefs.
"There will be very few times in your life you will be closer to that self than you are right now," he said. "So, figure out what that is [and] set yourself a marker."
Coville, a teacher-turned-author of such popular book titles as My Teacher Is an Alien and The Unicorn Chronicles, closed with a story urging members of the audience to pursue their personal passions.
"I know of no simpler prescription for happiness than that: Do as you love," he said.
Several students were preparing to do just that in the days leading up to Commencement.
Broadcasting major Lewis Karpel '11 found a job in his field before graduation, thanks to his Oswego experience. He recently got a full-time gig at WSTM/WTVH in Syracuse as a news videographer/editor, after starting work part-time in its master control room earlier this year.
"Between my production classes and WTOP, I spent a lot of time at the station," said Karpel, who gained experience from management positions at the student TV station. "Having that on my résumé helped me a lot."
He also had the opportunity to run broadcast labs during the Summer School of the Arts on campus and to serve as a teaching assistant two semesters, which helped develop close ties with professors.
Danielle Johnson '11 said volunteering and internship experience helped land her a job as an audit associate in financial services at KPMG in New York City. The position will start in fall 2012 as Johnson - graduating a semester early with a master's in business administration/bachelor's in accounting - will spend some time before that studying for the certified public accountant examinations.
Being an active member of Beta Alpha Psi, the accounting and finance honor society, paid dividends in many ways.
"We have the opportunity to volunteer to do income taxes, hands-on experience in preparing a tax return" through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, she said. "We also teach other students in the School of Business about principles of accounting." These activities taught her skills and a lot about dealing with people.
An internship through W.R. Grace in Columbia, Md., thanks to the support of the company's CEO, Fred Festa '81, provided an intensive 12-week professional level experience. "I think that internship helped me stand out when I interviewed at KPMG," Johnson said.
⎯ Staff report
Bestselling children's book author Bruce Coville '73 advised members of the Class of 2011 to hang on to their "deepest, truest" selves at December Commencement last month.
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