Nearly 1,500 graduate from UH Manoa with better job prospects - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Nearly 1,500 graduate from UH Manoa with better job prospects

MANOA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

It was a day of pomp, circumstance and celebration as about 1,500 students were awarded their undergraduate degrees from the University of Hawaii at Manoa Saturday.

The graduates of the Class of 2013 filled the floor of the Stan Sheriff Center, clad in their green academic gowns, with all those years of studying finally done.

"It feels great. I'm excited. It's about to happen soon," said Anthony Czumalowski of Honolulu, moments before he stepped on stage to receive his diploma.

"Yes, I'm very excited!," said fellow undergraduate Corinn Elisa Wells of Temecula, CA. "Congratulations to all the graduates today!"

The excitement was also felt by friends and family members of jammed the stands. That included Kauai County Mayor Bernard Carvalho, who was there as a proud parent. "I'm here because my daughter, Brittney, graduated today and I'm very happy," he said. "My wife and I, our family are all here."

The commencement ceremony lasted about two and-a-half hours, including the time it took to announce all those names and hand out all those diplomas. 

After graduation, what next? Some students said they would take some time off. "Stay here, save up and travel the world," said Wells.

But the job market is the next stop for the grads. Prospects had been lowered during the recession, but according to the Shidler College of Business, which polls its graduates, the job situation has rebounded.

"We know last year, 83 percent of our graduates found a job three months after commencement," said Vance Roley, dean of the Shidler College of Business. "And we think the job market is as good for the current class."

At least one lucky new graduate already has a job ready and waiting. "I'm going to be working on Hawaii Five-O, as a production assistant," said Czumalowski.

The students and their families have spent a lot of money for a college education, with the commencement ceremony a culmination of what, ultimately, is an investment.

"This is a very exciting time, and I think their investment was really worthwhile, I think it's going to be a great investment for their future," said Roley.

"This is just a day of joy and celebration. Very exciting."

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