Rolling into spring, graduating seniors are beginning to pull out their caps and gowns and are saying goodbye to their school days with an eagerness to finally be done with classes and enter the real world.
Derek Doublestein is a senior graduating this May, earning his bachelor’s degree in computer information technology after three years of being on the Big Rapids campus. In his second year of college he transferred from Grand Rapids Community College.
Throughout his time here Doublestein has learned more than he imagined he would when first coming here, such as the connections that can be made through simply being in class.
“I’m in a small major,” Doublestein said. “Usually 8 to 10 kids [will be] in a class and it was just a good way to get connected and have a good relationship with the professors. I’ve had professors help me write recommendation letters to get internships [and to get] into a masters program.”
Professors were able to guide Doublestein in more ways than one, from academic support, to understanding how to go through an interview with the proper resume to landing a job within his field.
“One of the best things a professor has ever told me was that the job is never yours to begin with, so if you get turned down it’s not a big deal.”
Doublestein was also surprised at how much community he could feel when meeting others in his classes and his two RSOs: the Bulldog Computer Professionalism group and campus ministry Wesley House.
BCP is a group of computer major students who focus on creating the next steps, from academics to industry. Members meet with industry professionals and understand what current students need to know in the technology world. Wesley House is a campus ministry that allows students to expand their faith, whichever it may be, engage with it and develop leadership skills to become a better human being.
Doublestein has been president of both groups. This position has made him communicate healthily, plan events and manage time, which has allowed him to “hone in on his leadership skills”.
He said he will miss the people he met within those two RSOs the most as they helped build a Ferris family, long lasting friendships and memories he will always remember. His fondest was going down to Panama City, Florida on a mission trip and working on hurricane cleanup.
When asked if he would go back and change anything Doublestein said he didn’t regret anything except for not coming to Ferris sooner to begin building that community and really diving into his major.
For underclassmen Doublestein advised them to dive into campus life through RSOs, campus events, or even a campus job. Something that can allow you “to step away and take a minute to put your mind on something else before returning to homework.”
“Take the initiative to meet other people as soon as possible,” Doublestein said. “Academics are important, but you can’t put 100% focus into academics or else you’ll become a zombie. I mean you’ll stay up late doing homework every night. You just need to get a social life. You can’t just focus on academics. [Having a social life] definitely helps.”
Doublestein plans to return to his hometown of Grandville, Michigan in hopes of finding a technical position while earning a masters degree. He is hopeful for what is to come next and is glad he decided to come to Ferris and be a bulldog.