Where we are at: Every week, a new adventure. This past week saw a HUGE increase in the new weekly unemployment filings, hitting 6.6 million for the week and now close to 10 million for the past two weeks combined. This number will likely continue to increase as we see further repercussions from the COVID-19 induced shutdowns.
It’s important for you to recognize this time as something very different than anything seen before. There have obviously been recessions or other events that have caused economic slowdowns, but this one is different as it is affecting everyone around the world at the same time. It hit hard and fast and no one knows what the playing field looks like as it changes every day. It’s extremely important to remember that THIS IS NOT ABOUT YOU. This is way, way bigger than that. People are dying, global economies are at a standstill and companies are struggling to remain viable and are making decisions in order to survive.
What we are hearing from companies: A positive is that companies learned from the 2008/2009 recession that cutting all employment offers and laying off workers put them into a situation where they weren’t set up well to rebound quickly, as well as it hurt their employment reputations. It’s taken years for many companies to build back that reputation, which is likely what is keeping companies in the hiring field right now. We are seeing an increased number of companies cancelling their internships, although most are still planning on holding them, albeit in a possibly different format. More are shortening their internships (pushing them out to later dates in the summer) and looking at virtual possibilities. Most full time roles are still going on as planned, maybe with the starting dates shifting. Remember that there are still companies who are hiring, so continue to check Kelley Connect regularly.
What should you be doing now: As I mentioned last week, you should be in contact with our office. Let us know if you’ve accepted an internship or full time role and let us know if anything changes with those options. If you are still seeking, let us know that as well. Your internship (or full time role) may not end up as hoped for or planned for given the crazy environment we currently live in, but there are still a lot of great options for you to consider for the summer:
- Spend the time getting to know your ideal industry as well as you can. Research as much as you can about it, figure out what is happening in related industries and learn all the details so you can impress recruiters in the fall. Reach out to alumni/friends in the industry to make sure it really is the right path for you.
- Continue to build relationships with recruiters and companies you are interested in through alumni connections, family connections and LinkedIn.
- Teach yourself technical skills such as Python, Tableau, SQL and/or R. Build up your publishing skills through Adobe Creative Suite. Figure out what is important in your chosen industry and learn it.
- Use all of the skills you’ve gained at Kelley to help a small business, non-profit or local organization in your community as it begins to recover.
- Explore gig work that is currently available (use tools such as Parker Dewey) or look at temp agencies for professional work options.
- Offer to help one of your ideal employers with a project. Skills that you can leverage include Excel, social media, business analytics, PowerPoint, and process improvement.
Rebecca Cook, CFA, PCC
Executive Director, Undergraduate Career Services