From JCU to the “Real World”

graduation, anxieties about graduating, study abroad, John Cabot University You will never feel fully prepared to set out into the unknown, to leave behind the cozy environment of your beloved university. Students are bound to have anxieties and fears about graduating, no matter what. Although you will feel unsure about the next phase of your life, John Cabot University has already prepared you for your future in the “real world” in more ways than you may even realize.

I remember exactly how I felt waking up on the morning of our commencement ceremony. I was nervous, excited, and ready to be handed that diploma that I so persistently worked for. As I arrived at the beautiful Villa Aurelia, I could feel the suspense. I was counting down the hours until I could join my fellow graduates in throwing our caps into the air.

graduation, anxieties about graduating, study abroad, John Cabot University After graduation, the nerves didn’t subside right away as I continued on the journey of finding my way post-JCU. It was hard for a little while, as I was unsure what the next step was. Growing up all over the world, I think my main goal was to go “back home,” whatever that meant. At the time, it meant returning to Moscow. I felt like I had unfinished business there. I wanted to master the Russian language that I had struggled so many years trying to learn. I also wanted work experience in an environment I was familiar with. As I started a job at the US embassy in Moscow, although I was still somewhat unsure of where my future would lead me, I soon realized that John Cabot was allowing me to achieve all of my goals – goals I didn’t even know I had! JCU had been preparing me for the “real world” this whole time, and I was extremely grateful!

Due to the community of fellow global citizens that I had the privilege of interacting with every single day, the world became smaller and more accessible. Meeting people just like me, who were unsure where home was, made me feel less alone; we may have felt like misfits in our “home” countries, but we fit right in at John Cabot University. This wonderful TCK community prepared me for an adult life in an international world.

graduation, graduation ceremony, anxieties about graduating, study abroad, John Cabot University The wisdom of John Cabot’s wonderful professors also helped prepare me for the “real world”. Communications professors Peter Sarram and Antonio Lopez taught me so much about analyzing the media, communications in a historical context, and overall critical thinking. Creative writing and journalism classes with Professor Minot and Professor Di Robilant allowed me to delve deep into my passions of creative expression, travel writing, and even poetry. It was thanks to these professors that I had the motivation and skill set to start writing seriously, and getting my articles and pieces published soon after graduating. Without their classes I would not have known how to begin to be a freelance writer today.

Lastly, John Cabot University prepared me as I stepped out into the “real world” by giving me confidence. In the intimate environment of JCU, you find your way quickly and easily. You become a part of something bigger than yourself; a community of like-minded students from all different backgrounds, raised in all parts of the world. The John Cabot experience gives you great leadership skills that you can take with you wherever you go.


Alexa Vujaklija (Shearer)
Class of 2015
Communications Major
Grew up in the United States, Germany, the Republic of Georgia, Russia, and Bulgaria

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