Graduates optimistic on job prospects

PNT file photo Fall graduation is traditionally a smaller crowd for Eastern New Mexico University and despite tough economic times, graduates said they are positive about their career prospects.

Alisa Boswell

Despite a tough job market, Eastern New Mexico University students graduating today said they aren’t worried about job prospects.

Halee Goff, graduating with a master’s in education in school counseling, said she not only has a new job but is already working it.

“My husband and I just moved to Artesia and I’ve already gotten a job in the school system,” Goff said. “Honestly, how I feel about my job is it’s a complete blessing from God. I was nervous. I didn’t know the possibilities or what would happen but this job opened up and I got it. The Lord has definitely blessed us.”

Goff said although she is beginning working with preschoolers, the chances of her getting a position as a counselor are promising.

Tyler Owen, an ENMU student graduating with a bachelor’s in music education, said a master’s degree is definitely somewhere in his future but he may pursue work in his field first.

“I think the market for music education is very important, so it will always be there,” Owen said. “I won’t be out of a job, I don’t believe. There will always be an opening somewhere.”

Owen said he plans to teach secondary instrumental music education and he hopes to find work when he moves to Midland, Texas, after graduating.

“Unless I can find a really good opening somewhere, that’s what I’ll probably do is go back for my master’s,” Owen said. “It (grad school) will depend on programs, internships and how far away I can afford to move.”

Commencement speaker Carol Erwin, assistant professor of English, said her commencement speech will talk about the economy.

Erwin said she will be talking about the value of community and how building community with each other could be the change people hope to see in the U.S.

“That’s also why I’m talking about community, because I think that economic hardships provide us with opportunities to build communities,” Erwin said. “The way I think real change happens is we start looking at our own communities and how we interact with each other.

“If we want things to change in Washington and across the country,” Erwin said, “let’s look at the way we treat each other. If we change with each other, then that has an exponential effect.”

Both Goff and Owen said they have mixed feelings about graduation.

“Oh man, not to sound clich