Business students at Memorial University say that despite the recent cloud over the Newfoundland and Labrador economy, they see a bright future for themselves in the province.
"I think that things are a little rough right now but I think things are going to turn around," said business student Victoria Oram, one of 120 students who will complete Bachelor of Commerce degrees at Memorial this year.
"Times may seem tough now," agreed student Mark Day. "I know there's a lot of issues that are happening with the government cuts and all, but the future is very bright."
Oram, Day and the rest of their class were attending the 48th annual Business Day Conference on Friday, an opportunity for business students to meet potential employers.
Despite the provincial government layoffs and hiring freeze, and predictions of dropping oil prices, private sector business owners like Larry Puddister, the CEO of Pennecon, shared the students' optimism.
"I think there is a lot of opportunity out there," said Puddister. "I know that we are looking for business students and engineering students to come on board early, so I think they have a great opportunity."
"I believe that Labrador Iron Ore production can expand considerably to the point that it's a much bigger economic factor in the province than the oil and gas industry is presently," said Brian Dalton, the CEO of Altius Minerals. "It's that dramatic of an opportunity."
Oram was glad to hear that potential employers in Newfoundland and Labrador shared her positive outlook.
"I want to stay here [in Newfoundland and Labrador]
of course," said Oram. "So I'm hoping that everything will be prosperous again."