Alumnus’ journey ends in Washington, D.C.

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“Journey” is the word that best describes my four years at Gannon. During those four years, I had to work full-time jobs to help support my family while still maintaining good academic standing.

It certainly wasn’t easy; I moved around quite a bit and at one point came close to being homeless. Balancing my academics with the added stress of working nearly 40-hour weeks was a frustrating process. Yet, I was determined to not let my difficult circumstances create impassable roadblocks.

Last spring, I was honored when I received the Founder’s Day Inspiration for the Next Generation award. Of the large pool of highly qualified candidates, I was humbled that the selection committee felt I was deserving of the honor.

Receiving this award was an appropriate conclusion of not only my college career, but also the long and challenging process it had been in reaching that point. It is a wonderful feeling to work hard and finally see the fruits of your labor.

My time at Gannon allowed me to grow both personally and professionally. In some ways, I feel I will forever be indebted for the wonderful things this university has added to my life. With every accomplishment, I can proudly say it was this institution that gave me the foundation upon which I will build my future success.

During my senior year, I was selected to participate in a prestigious internship program for the United States House of Representatives. I enjoyed my time in Washington, D.C., and knew I would one day return. Transitioning from college life to the “real world” has been challenging at times.

I submitted countless resumes and cover letters and participated in numerous interviews. Finding a job was not easy, but I am proud to say I am back and working in Washington, D.C.

I began by working for a large corporate immigration law firm. Shortly afterward, I was presented with an opportunity to work for the legal department of the U.S. Capitol Police, where I am currently employed.

I graduated from Gannon in May 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in criminal justice. I am still and will always be very passionate about our criminal justice system. However, I am now pursuing a career in the legal field. I am considering taking the LSAT later this year and entering law school to build upon the growth that was largely established at Gannon.

My advice to seniors who are unsure about what direction to take is this: you do not need to know what it is that you want to do, but if you continue to work hard, you will eventually see the benefits of that hard work.

I have met many people, who have gone on to have successful careers in something they did not study in college. Do not overwhelm yourself in trying to get your life right following graduation. Make mistakes. Learn from them. They will make this journey all the more worthwhile.

Seniors – the application for the 2015 Inspiration for the Next Generation award is available by visiting the “Get Involved” tab under “Awards and Recognition” at www.gannonalumni.org.  Applications are due Feb. 27.

Questions may be directed toward Erin Sekerak ’04, associate director, Alumni Services at [email protected]

 

 

BALDEMAR GONZALEZ ‘14

[email protected]