2013 UNI grads hopeful despite bleak economy - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

2013 UNI grads hopeful despite bleak economy

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A lot of graduates were excited to receive their diplomas, even though many of them admit the future is still uncertain. A lot of graduates were excited to receive their diplomas, even though many of them admit the future is still uncertain.
The University of Northern Iowa is home to more than 1,600 spring graduates. Commencement ceremonies happened at the McLeod Center on Friday and Saturday. The University of Northern Iowa is home to more than 1,600 spring graduates. Commencement ceremonies happened at the McLeod Center on Friday and Saturday.
CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) -

The University of Northern Iowa is home to more than 1,600 spring graduates. Commencement ceremonies happened at the McLeod Center on Friday and Saturday.

A lot of graduates were excited to receive their diplomas, even though many of them admit the future is still uncertain.

"I'm scared but I'm not," said Danielle Carlson, a marketing and real estate graduate at UNI. "I don't think I should feel old enough to be ready and on my own, but I'm excited."

Carlson said she's moving to the Quad Cities where she does not have a job lined up, but plans to network to find her way into a marketing position.

Nathan Gingerich graduated on Saturday and has a temporary job, but said he'd like to find one using his international studies.

"It will take a while, I think, to get to my ultimate career goal," he said.

Other 2013 graduates like Amber Blackmon plan to avoid the economic uncertainty for a few years and go to graduate school.

"The last semester we do an internship, so hopefully that experience and whatever I can find while I'm there will be enough to secure a job right after graduate school," said Blackmon, who graduated with a bachelor's degree in health promotion.

A recent study from the National Association of Colleges and Employers predicts businesses plan to hire only about 2.1 percent more college graduates this year than they did last year.

Additionally, the Economic Policy Institute said 2013 graduates will earn less over the next 10-15 years than they would have before the recession.

Still, many 2013 grads are confident in their abilities.

"I think if I can handle college, I think I can find myself a job," said Haley Ashenfelter, a 2013 UNI graduate.

Meanwhile, Fernando Blanco said he has a few job offers, but he's going to take some time off to enjoy a vacation at Disney World before hitting the work force full-time.

"I think I earned it," he said.

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