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Jeff Swensen

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Americans 25 and under face one of the toughest job markets in modern history, but they’re looking to the future, too. This week, The Wall Street Journal invited some to answer this question: Where do you see yourself five years from now?


‘I see myself being a manager in the H.R. field. I like working with people and enjoy using people to their full potential after evaluating strengths and weaknesses.’
—Biyan Zhou, 22, a senior at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, switched her major from electrical and computer engineering to a double major in psychology and policy management. (Jeff Swensen for The Wall Street Journal) (See related article).


‘In five years, I see myself self-employed with opportunities to travel around Europe. I will be writing, singing, producing and recording pop songs. I will still live at the beach in Jupiter, Fla.—but not with either parent.’
—Faith Jacobson, 23, a college graduate who works at a private golf course as a part-time bartender. (Mark Ovaska for The Wall Street Journal) (See related article).


‘I plan to be officially divorced, have my degree finished, have an apartment again, have savings and be a firefighter.’
—Cody Preston, 25, moved back in with his parents in Milwaukie, Ore., after he was laid off and his marriage broke up. (Leah Nash for The Wall Street Journal) (See related article).


‘In the future, I want to own a business—a small remodeling business.’
—Justin Randol, 25, right, seen here with Cody Preston, received a high-school equivalency certificate and was laid off. He splits his rent with roommates in St. Helens, Ore. (Leah Nash for The Wall Street Journal) (See related article).


‘I will have finished graduate school and will be working for one of the major broadcast networks in New York City. Being in touch with the news from around the world is important to me and I hope to share that passion with others.’
—Natasha Pearson, 19, attends Hunter College in New York. (Bryan Derballa for The Wall Street Journal) (See related article).


‘I would like to continue [in] the entertainment industry or maybe even get an M.B.A. I’m also willing to travel wherever the best opportunity takes me!’
—Elizabeth Kushel, 23, 2010 University of Pennsylvania graduate who works as an assistant for national publicity at a New York public-relations firm. (Bryan Derballa for The Wall Street Journal) (See related article).


‘I see myself owning a business, like a barber shop. I write my own songs, too, so I’m trying to get into the music industry. I want to study business management at a community college and then transfer to a four-year program.’
—Isiah Vinters, 21, works at a grocery store in Hartford, Conn. (Jesse Neider for The Wall Street Journal) (See related article).


‘My hope is to grow with the company. I continue moving toward my ultimate goal of being a state-sales coordinator right here at Aflac.’
—John Dodge, a district sales coordinator for Aflac in Baton Rouge, La. (Daymon Gardner for The Wall Street Journal) (See related article).

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Spanish “rejoneador” or mounted bullfighter Sergio Galan performs during his bullfight at Las Ventas bullring in Madrid, Saturday May 28, 2011.

Amanda Carper holds her son Silas, 5 months, as she searches through the rubble of her deceased grandfather Charles Oster’s home after a massive tornado passed through the town killing at least 132 people on May 27, 2011 in Joplin, Missouri. Oster was 77 years old and perished during the tornado. The town continues the process of recovering from the storm which damaged or destroyed an estimated 8,000 structures.

Nicolas B. Rushlow, 13, left, from Lancaster, Ohio is embraced by his mother Michelle after being eliminated during the semifinals of the 2011 Scripps National Spelling Bee at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in Oxon Hill, Thursday, June 2, 2011. Rushlow spelled ‘drusy’ incorrectly.

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Spanish "rejoneador" or mounted bullfighter Sergio Galan performs during his bullfight at Las Ventas bullring in Madrid, Saturday May 28, 2011.(AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza) #

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Enthusiast Tommy Hall, dances with singer Miss Katie Spitfire on the platform during the 1940's re-enactment weekend on May 28, 2011 in Bury, England. Re-enactors dressed in 1940s fashion will attend the wartime weekend for nostalgic celebrations including tea dances, make-do-and-mend demonstrations and battle re-enactments. (Photo by Bethany Clarke/Getty Images) #

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"Brother Hermes" (L) performs an exorcism on Claudia Gaviria, 28, who claims to be possessed by spirits, on June 1, 2011, in La Cumbre, Valle del Cauca department, Colombia. "Brother Hermes", as calls himself Hermes Cifuentes, 50, has performed exorcism rituals during the last 20 years. AFP PHOTO/Luis ROBAYO #

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Singer Cody Simpson performs as his female fans do their best to push closer to him at a promotion for Footlocker and Pastry Footwear at Westfield Miranda on May 28, 2011 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Don Arnold/Getty Images) #

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Amanda Carper holds her son Silas, 5 months, as she searches through the rubble of her deceased grandfather Charles Oster's home after a massive tornado passed through the town killing at least 132 people on May 27, 2011 in Joplin, Missouri. Oster was 77 years old and perished during the tornado. The town continues the process of recovering from the storm which damaged or destroyed an estimated 8,000 structures. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images) #

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Bob Thornburg, left, and his brother Matt Thornburg, both from Las Vegas, Nev., salvage items Sunday, May 29, 2011 as they sort through the remains of a house occupied by their brother Gene Thronburg and mother Peggy Thornburg in Joplin, Mo. An EF-5 tornado tore through much of the city a week ago damaging a hospital and hundreds of homes and businesses and killing at least 139 people. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel) #

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A museum worker stands near the entrance to an installation art work entitled "My Universe - The Beginning" by contemporary Chinese artiste Zhan Wang held in conjunction with luxury brand Louis Vuitton's Voyages exhibition held at the National Museum of China in Beijing, China, Tuesday, May 31, 2011. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan) #

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A pedestrian smokes a cigar as he passes in front of the New York Stock Exchange in New York, Thursday, June 2, 2011. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) #

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An Amish farmer plows his field behind six draft horses June 2, 2011 in New Wilmington, southwestern Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images) #

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A Pakistani boy walks toward a water point to collect water for his family, on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan, Thursday, June 2, 2011. The U.S. should hold back much of its $7.5 billion aid package to Pakistan until it reforms dysfunctional policies related to energy, taxes and other areas, according to a new report that criticizes the American aid program's focus in a country beset by corruption, poverty and militancy. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen) #

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Indian tourists ride traditional boats on the Dal Lake, on the outskirts of Srinagar, India, Wednesday, June 1, 2011. Set in the Himalayas at 5,600 feet (1707 meters) above sea level, Kashmir is a green, saucer-shaped valley full of fruit orchards and surrounded by snowy mountain ranges. About 100 lakes dot its highlands and plains. (AP Photo/Dar Yasin) #

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Barcelona's Brazilian defender Adriano Correia celebrates during a gathering with supporters at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on May 29, 2011 a day after the team won the UEFA Champions League final football match against Manchester United. AFP PHOTO/ JOSEP LAGO #

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The arm of a mannequin sticks out from the rubble in a devastated neighborhood in Kesennuma, Miyagi prefecture, in northeastern Japan, Monday, May 30, 2011 which was destroyed in the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. The twin disasters, which damaged crucial cooling systems at the nuclear power plant in Fukushima prefecture, left more than 24,000 people dead or missing in northeastern Japan. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder) #

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New cadets for the Libyan rebel army dance and chant anti Moammar Gadhafi slogans before the ceremony graduation in Benghazi, Libya, Sunday, May 29, 2011. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd) #

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A paraglider flies over the athletic stadium on May 31, 2011 during the Zlata Tretra (Golden Spike) athletics meeting in the eastern Czech city of Ostrava. AFP PHOTO / JOE KLAMAR #

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Hans Van Alphen of Belgium throws a discus during the men's discus throw event on the second day of the men's decathlon meeting held in Goetzis, Austria on May 29, 2011. AFP PHOTO/SAMUEL KUBANI #

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A group of women dressed as brides hold sheets of paper that read in Spanish: "No to Keiko Fujimori, Because I teach my children the truth, Marry the truth," at a church in Lima, Peru, Saturday, May 28, 2011. Keiko Fujimori, daughter of imprisoned ex-President Alberto Fujimori, will face former army officer Ollanta Humala in a presidential runoff on June 5. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia) #

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An Army carry team moves a transfer case containing the remains of Spc. Richard C. Emmons III Thursday, June 2, 2011 at Dover Air Force Base, Del. According to the Department of Defense, Emmons, 22, of North Granby, Conn., died May 31, 2011 in Logar province, Afghanistan of wounds sustained when enemy forces attacked his unit with a rocket propelled grenade. (AP Photo/Steve Ruark) #

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Spanish bullfighter Ivan Fandino performs during a bullfight in Madrid, Thursday, June 2, 2011. Bullfighting is an ancient tradition in Spain and the season runs from March to October. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza) #

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Nicolas B. Rushlow, 13, left, from Lancaster, Ohio is embraced by his mother Michelle after being eliminated during the semifinals of the 2011 Scripps National Spelling Bee at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in Oxon Hill, Thursday, June 2, 2011. Rushlow spelled 'drusy' incorrectly. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) #

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An Indian laborer carries a basket of mangoes at the wholesale mango market in Bangalore, India, Friday, June 3, 2011. India recognizes mango as its national fruit and is the world's largest mango producer with about 13 million tons each year, far exceeding all other countries. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi) #

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A Buddhist monk carries a container of incense around a monastery during early morning religious rituals near the Boudhanath Stupa, a world heritage site and an important pilgrimage site, in Katmandu, Nepal, Friday, June 3, 2011. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha ) #

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