Saturday, May 05, 2012
Ferrum College senior ready to zoom in on her business
Anna Bowser, who runs a photography business, graduates with 195 others at Ferrum College today.
Jeanna Duerscherl | The Roanoke Times
"I’ve always been a student first and a business owner second," said Anna Bowser, a Ferrum College senior.
Ferrum College graduation
- When: 10:30 a.m. today
- Where: Lawn between Stanley Library and Garber Hall
- Speaker: Christopher Howard, president, Hampden-Sydney College
- Graduates: 196
FERRUM — In a tough job market, many seniors are wondering what, if any, job they'll land in after graduation.
But Ferrum College senior Anna Bowser, 22, already has an idea of what she'll encounter, because she's owned a small business, A.B.E. Photography, for four years.
"I've always been a student first and a business owner second," Bowser said. "But now I'm ready to go forth and put my business first."
She's one of 196 students graduating today from the private liberal arts college in Franklin County.
Along with being a small-business owner, she's also the Student Government Association president, a cheerleader, a founder, sister and vice president of the local sorority Zeta Chi Epsilon and a member of Students in Free Enterprise.
"I do still worry," Bowser said. "But I think I'm well-rounded enough that I can find something." She plans to find work in her field, but hopes that the photography business can one day support her full time. She'd like to move to the beach to pursue her dream of underwater photography one day, she said.
"I'm looking for a career in photography, but it's difficult to make a living because technology is being misplaced for talent," Bowser said.
Many students are realizing that they may have to put their dreams on hold "because the jobs market is extremely tight," said Rol Walters, director of career services at Ferrum.
"They're realizing there are not jobs in their field or the jobs are not what they want right now, but it's the best opportunity," Walters said.
The job market for graduating college students had improved for the class of 2011, but statistics show that it's dropped markedly for the class of 2012, he said.
But it's important for students to remember that things will work out if they're willing to put hard work into making things happen, he said.
Having someone edit a resume, attending mock interviews, networking and using career resources available through most colleges are all ways to improve a student's chances of becoming employed, he said.
"The best thing is to really have a positive attitude, even in a dismal job market," Walters said.
So as she graduates, Bowser plans to think about what originally drew her to the school she loves.
"Ferrum is definitely home to me, no matter where I end up," she said. "I have met people from all over the world that I never would have met if I didn't come here."
Bowser came to Ferrum after two years at Virginia Western to study business management, because she and her parents thought it would help her run her photography business and would provide more opportunities than an arts degree, she said.
"Everybody here helps each other," she said. "Ferrum definitely tries to broaden our experience so we'll ultimately succeed in the real world.