College students spend four years training for the real world. For some, this means continuing their education at graduate school or getting an internship with the hopes of climbing the corporate ladder, but for others it may mean finding more unconventional opportunities post-graduation.
Dallas Alberti, a senior majoring in psychology, will be pursuing a nontraditional career path after he graduates in May.
Alberti is planning to expand his world view by traveling to Europe and Japan while working as an international model. Although considering graduate school in the future, for now Alberti plans to make a living as both a runway and print model.
“Europe isn’t a big cash market for what I would be doing, it’s more the shows and runway type stuff,” Alberti said. “Japan is a little different, so I’ve heard. You go pre-signed saying I will work every day for two months.”
Alberti said he would encourage anyone who wants to pursue modeling to get a decent agent, and never disregard education.
“There are too many people who drop out of college, drop out of high school and go straight into it,” Alberti said. “And by the time they’re expired, as far as modeling, they don’t have anything to them. Have more to you than going around and be told that you’re pretty.”
According to Zoraya Cruz-Bonilla, data research assistant at the Office of Student Affairs, only 11 percent of Binghamton University class of 2014 graduates chose something other than some kind of employment or graduate school after graduating. Fifty-four percent of those remaining graduates went on to apply for jobs while the remaining 35 percent wanted to continue onto graduate school, which is a seven percent decline from recent years.
The information comes from senior surveys that students voluntarily fill out as well as outside research from the Office of Student Affairs.
Another student trying an alternative path is Daniel Morales, a senior majoring in environmental studies, who said he wants to go into organic farming.
“I have a natural inclination to the outdoors,” Morales said. “Farming gives me that connection, something I won’t find at a conventional job.”
Morales said he decided to become a farmer last year after gaining some initial experience. He worked with Binghamton University’s Acres Farm, a two-acre farm located on campus, by helping weed and build fence posts. This past summer he worked on a farm in east Texas caring for animals and building greenhouses.
“I saw a different part of living,” Morales said. “The place I went to was a town with really bad conditions. It was an industrial town and didn’t have much going on. It’s a good way to expose yourself to different places.”
After graduation, Morales plans to work with organizations like AmeriCorps and the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) to help connect him to farmers in need.
Maggie Scalli, a Binghamton University alumna who graduated this past spring, now teaches in South Korea. She teaches kindergarten and creative writing to older students at an international school. Scalli said she went abroad because she could not teach in the United States without certification.
“I wanted to do something that I was sort of afraid of doing,” she said. “Coming to a country where I had no friends and didn’t speak the language was intimidating. But it’s one of the best things I ever did.”