The coronavirus pandemic has caused an unprecedented state of unemployment and cancelled many job offers. According to CNN, students graduating this year are fighting an uphill battle to find a job in the worst job market since the Great Depression.
Over 36 million people in the United States have become unemployed over the past two months, and at the same time seniors at many universities are entering a job market that is crashing, Wall Street Journal recently reported. Many students have had internships or job offers rescinded due to the unfortunate circumstances or know someone that has. Through all the unknown situations, students at Texas A&M have kept their heads held high as they persevere through these difficult times.
Finance senior Andrew Olinger said that quarantine has given him the opportunity to spend time with family and become more productive with the growing time on his hands.
“Honestly, I have enjoyed staying at home, so I am glad,” Olinger said. “I think I’m really close to my family, but also, I think it’s also been a chance for growth that has been able to bring out in this whole scenario.”
Olinger said he searched for a specific internship for over a year, and finally got an offer when the pandemic began. He held out hope his internship would be the one that would make it through.
“I was really banking on it still to happen even in April, where some of my friends had lost it by April or March even,” Olinger said. “Then May rolled around, and then May 1 they emailed out that they were cutting everything, which was a huge bummer.”
Psychology senior Kalli Matson was in the middle of a semester-long internship at the Brazos County District Attorney’s office in March when she got the call the rest of her internship would be up in the air. She was gaining experience in criminal law in hopes of clarifying what type of law she might enjoy working in most.
“I was bummed because there was a trial that was set to be in late March,” Matson said. “Just not getting that full experience, which in hindsight, is nothing compared to what other people are going through in their losses, but it was definitely disappointing to not be able to complete that.”
Another student, recently-graduated marketing senior Hailey Motsenbocker, had an internship lined up this summer in conjunction with her master’s program for which she will return to A&M in the fall. The internship was with Saber, an airlines technology solutions company. With the airline and travel industry taking such a big hit due to COVID-19, this was cause for concern for Motsenbocker.
“It’s crazy. The airline industry in general is pretty messed up right now, but all the interns were cut and out of everyone that I talked to, I was the first person that I knew that had their internship cut,” Motsenbocker said. “Once everything started, I kind of saw it coming, but as much as one can prepare for that, it is still upsetting when it happens.”
Despite the challenges everyone has been facing with the cancelations over the past few months, Motsenbocker said she is trying to keep her spirits high. She said she was able to go back to her previous internship at the George Bush Library on campus, unlike many others.
“Luckily, I’ve been able to get my George Bush internship approved, so I can stay there this summer,” Motsenbocker said. “I am definitely grateful for that because most people don’t even have an internship at all, so being able to go back to my previous internship/job is definitely super nice.”
Through the difficulties of the pandemic, many people have been continuously trying to make the most out of their situations. Olinger said he is working to come out of this pandemic as a different, better person.
“Make sure you’re bettering yourself, make sure you’re growing, make sure you’re pushing yourself in different areas that maybe were weaknesses or maybe focus on your strengths,” Olinger said.