Re: In need of some guidance
I'm going to answer a few of the questions you asked. As far as XNA or Unity goes, it's kind of a personal preference. However, what platform do you plan on releasing this game on? Are you planning on making money off of the game or is it just strictly a senior project.
XNA wouldn't be a bad choice but I have heard about some annoyances with getting games onto the Xbox Live Arcade (if you're looking to release it on there). I feel like Unity would be your best choice, especially if you're going to release it onto a mobile device (If I'm not mistaken I think Unity has really simple ways to release onto Android and iPhones, I could be wrong though). And I'm not sure about Gamemaker, I have never used it and haven't heard to much talk about it, so I couldn't tell you there.
As far as your QA question goes, I have heard of a lot of people starting out in QA and working their way up. It would be a good starting job in the game industry, especially if there is an opening near you.
Lastly, take the advice from tsloper, he knows what he is talking about. Live your life the way you want and not what you think it should be. Also, keep a positive attitude. Job hunting is tough in any industry and can be overbearing at times, keep applying and keep your head up!
P.S. Tsloper, excellent website. Offers excellent advice, so thanks and good job!