2020 college graduates experience turbulence during job search
SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - College students graduating in the class of 2020 are facing a job market devastated by the coronavirus pandemic with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics saying about 13 percent of Americans were unemployed in May.
D’Iberville native Mikayla McMillian just graduated from the University of South Alabama and said obtaining a degree feels great, but figuring out her next step is somewhat of a daunting task.
Her goal is to become a physical therapist; however, many gyms and rehabilitation centers are still closed due to social distancing guidelines.
“I’m looking for any type of tech jobs at the moment, or even if possible any rehab jobs,” said McMillian.
But so far, no luck.
“They’re either keeping from hiring people or the facilities are possibly closed... of course they’ll say you need experience, but it’s like ‘I don’t have experience so that’s why I applied to you,’” she said.
Mikayla’s advisors told her to stay flexible in her job search.
“Mainly, wanting me to keep my eyes open to any other options, even if it includes having to go somewhere that I might not be as open to.”
At Southern Miss’s Gulf Park campus, the career services center is preparing new graduates for a growing surge of virtual jobs and questions about post-coronavirus productivity.
USM assistant director of career services Mary Maner reminds students to highlight their passions and strengths during every step of the job application process.
“Telling your story about who you are and how far you’ve come in your journey is something that I advise,” said Maner.
Even though Mikayla is facing an uncertain future, she said she’s not letting up until she finds her next opportunity.
“I can’t say I’m not discouraged... I can get a little bit but at the same time, I’m pretty hopeful at the moment,” McMillian said.
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