STORY CONTRIBUTED BY JULIA DERIDDER, BAY PATH STUDENT NEWSROOM CREATIVE ARTS & EVENTS SUPERVISOR
As a sophomore, I can’t pretend to know what it’s like to be about to graduate, and in a pandemic, nonetheless. Luckily, I do have someone whom I feel can give advice to students getting ready to enter the workforce: my sister, Lydia. She graduated last spring from Wheaton College in Norton, MA. Lydia currently works for AmeriCorps but had her own ups and downs before settling into the job. I asked her a few questions while she was on her break from work:
How did you prepare for the workforce when you graduated last spring?
Last spring was an extremely stressful time for many reasons, hence why I decided to wait to apply for jobs until after I had graduated. I had the privilege of being supported by my family. It was hard not to look for jobs, but my mental health wasn’t great and I knew I had to take it one step at a time or else I wouldn’t graduate.
When I did graduate, I used my college’s career center to help refine my resume. I then did a lot of research and applied to many jobs, keeping an itemized list of each job I applied for. That’s a big recommendation I can give: stay organized.
How have you found success?
By the end of the summer of 2020, I had three job offers. One to the YWCA, another to an AmeriCorps program called UMBC Choice, and the third as a nanny. I am currently employed as an AmeriCorps member and love it.
I gotta say, people always ask, ‘what can you do with a Sociology and Women’s and Gender Studies double major?’ And I’d like to point to all the jobs I got during college, and the three job offers I received during a pandemic. Not to boast, but if you are in these fields I promise you there will always be job openings. People always need help.
Have any resources helped you?
My college’s career center helped me. I also used all the job sites, Glassdoor, LinkedIn, etc. I looked up companies/organizations I liked to see if they were hiring.
Is there anything you wish you had known going into graduation during a pandemic?
I’m not sure I could have ever prepared myself for graduating during a pandemic. All my dreams were crushed, there was financial instability, political unrest. And my mental health just collapsed. But I would probably tell myself to take a break and be easy on myself and to try to trust that everything would work out. The human race is resilient, as am I, as are you.
This article is also featured in the April 2021 issue of the Network News Student Magazine.