“Why did you choose education?” Seven Waynesburg University students were asked this question to gauge the reasons why higher education is appealing.
“Because the career I want requires further education than high school,” Ethan Mata, a freshman nursing major, answered. Mata spoke about how he knew he wanted to work in the healthcare industry since the eighth grade. In his junior year of high school, he chose nursing as his major.
“Nursing has run in my family for a long time, and for one I want to carry on the family tradition,” he said. In addition to this, Mata described how there will always be a need for nurses, which means he will be able to both help others and have some level of job security.
When speaking about why he chose Waynesburg University, Mata spoke on the steps needed to work in the field. Even though a degree is not needed in the field, only the certification, he described how the added education helps potential nurses land better jobs, in addition to being more trained in critical thinking scenarios.
“I wanted to be as qualified as I can be,” he said.
When asked where he intends to take his academic career, Mata stated he is unsure where he will end up, but he mentioned hospital floor work and management as two options, in addition to going back to school to earn his master’s degree. The reason for this, he stated, was to allow for a more specialized career in the nursing field.
“I wanted to get a degree in something I love doing right now,” Diana Gurecka said. She is an education major, hoping to specialize in middle school education.
“I went into education to be the teacher I never got,” Gurecka said. She described wanting to make a difference in the lives of children when they are at a formative age. Additionally, Gurecka described decent pay, and the ability to be tenured as other factors in this decision.
Gurecka mentioned her desired position is a fourth or fifth grade teacher. The reason she described being that children are still joyful at that age, and a teacher has more opportunities to do fun, educational things with them than they would teaching an older crowd.
“I enjoy learning. I love the process of acquiring knowledge,” Abigayle Geisel said. Geisel, a junior psychology major, stated she always assumed she would go to college, evidenced by her high grades in high school.
She stated her true goal in choosing education is to enter the counseling field. She described her desire to mix her career with her Christian community, and have discussions of faith be a normal and valued part of her life and career. Her goal, she stated, is to become a pastoral counselor, whether that be as a part of the United Methodist Church, or from her own practice.
She described knowing that she wanted this career since she was 13 years old. On why she chose to major in psychology, she described a desire to understand the personal parts of counseling, as well as the scientific and psychological elements of it.
When asked why he chose higher education, sophomore finance major, John Dalzotto, described it as being part of his path to work towards a successful career. He spoke about how his degree will allow him more opportunities in his field and broaden his horizons as to what he can do. Dalzotto described having a general interest in numbers from a young age, deciding early on to pursue a career where he could work with them.
“I want to work for my family business and take it over one day. My grandparents built the business, and I want it to stay in the family,” was his answer when asked about his goals. Dalzotto described his family business as an investment firm, which helps clients with their investments and portfolios.
He spoke about hoping to expand his family’s business into other parts of the country, along with digitizing more of the work they do. To do this, he chose to pursue higher education in order to train himself to work in the financial sector.
“I want to be able to provide for a family in the future,” he said, describing another reason why he chose the path he did.
Senior applied science major Cheyanne Forson described college being the only option for her out of high school. She said she was told that to get a decent paying job, she would have to go to college, describing it as, “the next logical step,” in her journey. She also described being influenced by her father and friends, who also chose college, saying that she thought college was, “what success meant.”
Describing her major, she explained she always loved the sciences, and pursued a STEM program in high school that allowed her to get an early associate degree. Initially, she explained she wanted to go into research or pre-med, on account of her love of plants and animals.
When choosing colleges, she described financial aid as being the greatest factor in her choice out of the eight she toured. In her experience, she said that private colleges tended to charge less for tuition, but give out larger scholarships, making that a major factor in her choice.
When asked what her career goal was, she described a desire to mix science and animal welfare through running an animal rescue shelter, while teaching sex education on the side.
Joseph Veneziale, a senior electronic media and sports announcing double major, described his choice to attend college as a chance to further his career. He said his goal was to get a sustainable job so he could support his future family, while being prepared for the future of the communication industry.
Veneziale described his experience with the Waynesburg University Department of Communication as giving him a fantastic education, as well as preparing him for his future. His goal, he stated, is to get into freelance production, whether that be videography editing, or production for sports or news networks. He said he understood what he wanted to do with his career when he was in his sophomore year of college.
Kristina Proksch is a sophomore environmental science major. She said her choice to attend college was to get a sustainable job and become a well-rounded individual. She described a desire to work with animals from a young age, stemming from her family having over seven pets and having to help take care of them.
She described her choice to attend Waynesburg University as coming from a desire to have a change of scenery. She stated she wanted to attend a smaller school, since she came from a city in the middle of everything. Her decision, she stated, was also influenced by the relative low cost of Waynesburg University, and the large number of scholarships she received.
Her ultimate goal, she said, is to work with animals at a zoo, as a result of her conservation experience.