Many Seniors Have Post-Graduate Plans

by Gary James '10

April 30, 2008

Students of the 2008 senior class are near the end of their journeys at Wabash, but their travels will not end here. More than 72 seniors have accepted jobs, internships, or admittance into graduate or professional schools. Dozens more are still in the process of applying for jobs, interviewing, and deciding what they want to do next.

Their plans range from teaching math and coaching baseball and basketball at North Montgomery High School in Crawfordsville (Ryan Nuppnau) to teaching English in Niger, Africa for the Peace Corp (Ryan Morris). Many seniors have found work at financial firms like Ameriprise Financial (Bart Banach). Others students have committed to non-profit organizations like Teach for America (David Coddens, Chris Geggie, Ryan Leagre, Jason Simons) and The Love Community Center (Josh Bellis).

The Schroeder Career Center keeps an updated listing of graduate school enrollment and job placement on their website. Click here to see the full list.

Some students will continue their schooling in graduate and professional programs in theatre, journalism, law, music, and medicine at universities all over the country. Wassim Labaki and Clayton Craig will both spend the next four years of their lives in medical and dentistry school, respectively.

Labaki was accepted to Georgetown School of Medicine in Washington, DC and will enroll in its four-year M.D. program. The biology major and French Club founder applied to many medical schools on the East and West coasts as well as the Midwest. But Georgetown was at the top of his list because of its educational mission and philosophy. Students who attend the medical school must not only fulfill their research requirements but perform community service as well.

"Georgetown teaches students to become both scholars and healers," said Labaki, who is from Lebanon. "Georgetown focuses on the double side of medicine: the scientific side of medicine – treating people, cells, drugs, disease, symptoms – but at the same time they deeply care about the humanistic side of medicine and the ethical dimension of medicine – like how you would communicate with your patient and his family. I really wanted to be an all-around physician."

Labaki thinks Washington D.C. will be a great place to learn and live. "Washington offers an interesting setting in that it is a very dynamic city with a diverse student and patient population. In addition, numerous important governmental agencies are located in or close to the city, including the National Institute of Health and the National Science Foundation."

Pre-Health Advisor Jill Rogers said Labaki will be the first Wabash student to attend Georgetown in a long time and the educational approach should be a good match for him.

"Georgetown Med school is a top-tier school, and out of over 10,000 applicants per year, only about 150 will matriculate there." Rogers said.  Many of their applicants and interviewees have high MCAT scores and GPAs (as did Wassim), so they look for individuals whom they believe have the maturity and life experience to be clinically skilled, research minded, and compassionate.  I believe Wassim to have these qualities, and I know Wassim will be a wonderful ambassador for Wabash at this school."

Morristown, Indiana native Clayton Craig was accepted to IUPUI’s School of Dentistry and will begin his four-year, year-round program in early July. The first two years will be dedicated primarily to learning anatomy and dental technique, while the second two years will be spent practicing in a clinic.

Unlike Labaki, Craig, who has a couple of physicians in his family, applied to only one dental school. The decision was the result of IU Dental being the only in-state dental school and his having previously been an intern there. Craig, who was the President of Glee Club for two years, is financing his dental schooling through the Army’s Health Profession Scholarship Program, and he will perform four years of dental service to the military after graduation.

Craig wanted to be a dentist before college: a combination of wanting to be in the medical field, of not wanting to be a physician, and positive experience with his own orthodontist when he had braces. Although he is a biology major, Craig said art may have been more helpful.

"Just in talking to a lot of dentists, a major in art would probably have gone further [than biology] in preparing me specifically for dentistry," he said. "Just being able to work with fine details. Being able to articulate things with your fingers. Just building up manual dexterity."

Both Labaki and Craig said the college’s emphasis on critical thinking and philosophy of being well-rounded played a major role in getting them where they are today. Labaki minored in Chemistry and Math and has been the editor-in-chief of Erotan, a science journal, while at Wabash. Craig was a photographer for the Bachelor and Public Affairs Office, Captain of the Diving Team, and member of Wabash Christian Men.

Scott Crawford, Director of the Schroeder Career Center, said he was pleased with the success students were having planning their futures. He also stressed the idea that each individual make the correct decision for himself. 

"We’ve been very pleased with the number of students who have come in this year," said Crawford, adding student and alumni can utilize the career center during the summer and after they have graduated. "We’ve seen more students this year than we’ve ever seen. I’m pleased with the range of the kinds of places students are going, and the successes that they are having. And I want to make it clear that just because someone does not have a job right now doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily a bad thing. You don’t have to have a job the day you graduate to be a success. Making the right decision is the most important thing."


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