9OYS Education Watch
UA students graduate amidst tough economy
Reporter: Marcelino Benito
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - It's a busy weekend at the University of Arizona. Thousands of students and their families came to celebrate graduation. With an uncertain job market, graduates are already feeling the pressure.
For the first time in several years, university officials say they were forced to use an overflow room. McKale seats 14,545 people. More than 20,000 people turned up, so there wasn't an empty seat inside McKale Center. Proud parents watched their students make a four year education official.
"I'm ready to go let's do this thing," senior Rachael Feinman said.
Approximately 4,206 students celebrated, while also marking the beginning of a battle for work. Trauma surgeon Dr. Peter Rhee was honored as this year's commencement speaker. He inspired students with a simple message, "today is a good day."
"The employment opportunities are a little bleak," senior Marta Marciszewska said.
"It's a little bit scary and nerve wracking for everyone," senior Will Jones said.
So the battle to get that first post-graduation job is on. Students took advantage of commencement day to convey the message.
"I'm looking for a job," Marciszewska said. "I'm very reliable."
"Anybody if you would like a graphic designer, I have a website," Feinman said.
Former classmates are now competitors. Many of them have their eyes on the same jobs. All of them are faced with an 8.6 unemployment rate. 9OYS reporter Marcelino Benito asked graduates if they feel the pressure.
"Absolutely, I really don't know what I'm going to do," senior Jamie Clark said.
"You can talk to anyone in this line and not one person would say they don't feel pressure," Jones said. "It's a tough, tough economy, a tough job market."
Still, in the midst of uncertainty, they tell 9OYS they're hopeful the last four years at the University of Arizona will make that job search a bit shorter.
"This is a great school," Jones said. "If you throw the University of Arizona on your resume, you got a great chance."
More than 5,000 students graduated this weekend.