Dear Seniors, You Got This


The unemployment rate has reached record numbers, small businesses have shut down and normal living as we know it has been interrupted because of the COVID-19 pandemic. What does this mean for the seniors in college with aspirations of their dream career?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of May 2020, the final rate for labor turnover was 51 percent compared to the annual average turnover of 44.3 percent. (Impact of Coronavirus, 2020) This is one reason why students share a common fear of uncertainty, not only towards the pandemic but their futures in general.

Craig Marinello, manager of Student Employment and Internship Development, described the student’s attitude towards the pandemic as “initially people coming into his office with hope and no worries to the opposite”. Some seniors already have a plan and a career in mind, others are having issues with what the future may hold during the pandemic. For example:

Xavier, who is a senior majoring in Political Science believes that Southeastern has prepared him for the professional workforce and provided many tools to help him get his name and credentials to employers. He expressed that his only fear is that there won’t be available jobs due to companies lacking money to pay new employees.

Torin is majoring in Mass Communication and is worried about the competitiveness of finding a job and proper experience in his field. He wants to pursue more job opportunities and believe that they are increasing but is wary of trying to market himself in the current economy.

Kayla, majoring in Integrative Biology, is not confident. She wants to focus on school but feels like she would have a hard time looking for a job that would make her feel protected from the virus.

Despite bleak feelings, things may not be as bad as they seem. According to U.S. Secretary of Labor, Eugene Scalia, in the August 2020 employment situation report, “The unemployment rate dropped to 8.4 percent… This follows a string of other reports showing a strong recovery underway.”(Effects of COVID-19 on the Current Employment Statistics Survey, 2020)

Marinello also gave seniors encouraging advice saying, “The outlook of the future has everything to do with the students being ready and more competitive for what they want”. Though some students are indifferent right now, they must be aware of the opportunities that are given to them by their school. Southeastern has many resources and opportunities for seniors in their job and career search. Here are some of them recommended by Marinello:

Career Services; has many programs, including The Big Interview which allows students to practice their interview skills both virtual and face-to-face. They provide an online training platform that’s free for both students and alum.

Handshake; is used to search for jobs, internship opportunities, events, and network with other Southeastern students and alum.

Type Focus; allows you to take a personality test and be aware of who you are in interviews and the workforce.

Meet with a career counselor.

Volunteer/Join Organizations and Clubs; find a way to network with industries and become associated with an association.

So, regardless of what is going on in the world, you’ll be okay. Control what you can control. Be ready for opportunities whenever they present themselves. You are not alone in this fight. Unity is needed among seniors now more than ever.

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References:
Personal: Virtual Interview with Craig Marinello, Sept. 2, 3:15 P.M. craig.marinello@southeastern.edu

Impact of Coronavirus, Collection mode. (n.d.). Retrieved September 06, 2020, from https://www.bls.gov/covid19/job-openings-and-labor-turnover-covid19-june-2020.htm

Effects of COVID-19 on the Current Employment Statistics Survey. (n.d.). Retrieved September 06, 2020, from https://www.bls.gov/covid19/effects-of-covid-19-pandemic-on-employment-and-unemployment-statistics.htm

Louisiana Coronavirus COVID-19: Department of Health: State of Louisiana. (n.d.). Retrieved September 06, 2020, from https://ldh.la.gov/Coronavirus/

Errichiello, M. (2020, April 03). How College Seniors Can Find Closure in the Wake of COVID-19 – Table Salt: NCU Blog. Retrieved September 06, 2020, from https://www.northcentral.edu/blog/how-college-seniors-can-find-closure-in-the-wake-of-covid-19/

Personal: Interviews with Torin McClanahan torin.mcclanahan@selu.edu, Kayla Henry kayla.henry@selu.edu, Xavier Flavein xavier.flavein@selu.edu Sept. 4

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