If there was no pandemic, most of the graduate students who are approaching their graduation would have had jobs lined up by now. However, due to the coronavirus outbreak affecting the world, most of the companies have put their recruitment on hold.
Thoughts of most graduate students have changed from graduation caps and gowns to choosing between delayed or virtual commencement. Patrick Rosenberg, an MBA candidate for the class of 2020 at the UC Davis Graduate School of Management, is one of these students on limbo. Rosenberg feels disappointed about the situation, and he’s not alone in this. Most of the recent college graduates and graduate students are now worried about their job prospects.
According to Rosenberg, another important thing to note is the situation of international students. For them to stay in the country, they need to find a job. However, with job positions and internships postponed due to the crisis, this may pose more serious consequences for these students.
What Can Graduate Students Do As Of Now?
While all his prospects are paused, Rosenberg expects to be working part-time or sinking in with the team as he prepares to work by June. While waiting, he’s trying to pivot a bit and stay positive and productive.
What he does is he takes online classes to develop his skills more and gets creative with his virtual networking. He also tries to practice being the best candidate that he can be through sites like Zoom. Rosenberg makes sure to practice making eye contact. He has a sticky note placed right next to his webcam reminding him to do just that. He says that it insinuates eye contact.
He’s doing the right thing, according to Beth Hendler-Grunt, the president of Next Great Step. They give career guidance to recent grads and college students.
Hendler-Grunt suggests using this time to prepare and network because those who do get ahead of the competition. She says that it will be a competitive job market once hiring goes back to normal.
She also recommends the students to focus on their interests and what they want to do. Now is the time to assess your professional self and identify your skills and aptitudes. And then, target the companies or people you want to work with.
Hendler-Grunt also emphasized that they shouldn’t panic. She even reminds students to relax and turn that stress into motivation. For Beth, if you want to a successful candidate, you’d have to assess the market.
New graduates are encouraged to make use of this downtime to plan out how they can set themselves apart from the other job aspirants. Hendler-Grunt says that you’ll be miles ahead if you focus on yourself and your long-term plan.