Tough time for college grads looking for jobs during pandemic

HOUSTON – More people have gone back to work over the last few weeks with a growing number of businesses reopening.

But the reality is, millions of Americans remain out of work, with the unemployment rate nearing 15%. It’s tough enough searching for a job if you have plenty of work experience, but what about new college graduates who are just entering the job market?

College graduates said looking for a job during this time has been really hard for them. They said they have adapted to the online classes and virtual internships pretty quickly. Although many have not found a job, they are making sure they are ready when that job offer comes through.

“It has been difficult for a lot of people but there are still jobs out there,” said Layne Browning, a graduate of the University of Houston.

“It’s definitely been hard it’s been an adjustment for sure,” said Sage Moubarake, a graduate of Sam Houston State University.

Moubarake graduated with a degree in mass communications and says she has been emailing contacts, searching online and directly contacting recruiters for a job. And so far, nothing yet.

“I’ve just been getting creative figuring out little things I can do while looking for a job and hopefully something will pop up. But I’m not worried about finding a job I know it will be okay,” Moubarake said.

Layne Browning will graduate with a bachelors in Human Resource Management in August. Browning said she is working on her second virtual internship while living at home while taking some online classes. She still has not landed her first job but she is confident she will be able to work online.

“I’ve seen people have their internships or their full time offers shortened or taken away. But I think I’ll be able to do it. I’m pretty technologically savvy and it hasn’t been an issue for me yet,” Browning said.

Houston financial expert Richard Rosso said 2020 will be extra hard for college grads with a pretty grim job market with the unemployment rate surging past 14%. Rosso said that graduates dream jobs may be postponed but an interim position to get out in the workforce can give grads plenty of experience. If not already, graduates should also be making contacts online, join associations like LinkedIn groups for their field.

Russo said they should get involved in virtual job networking and tap into their school’s networking events and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

“That is our role is to get students’ internships full-time jobs, part-time jobs, in order to continue while they are in school. This class of 2020 is really resilient and they will figure out ways to navigate this,” said Caitlin Dies, assistant director of employment development and relations at the University of Houston.

Experts said graduates should be prepared for a lower salary with limited bonuses. They also suggested that graduates should also discuss with their parents about living at home for at least a year to help build their savings.

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