It’s been over a month since the University System of Georgia declared that Spring Commencement will be canceled for all 26 USG institutions.
Since then, VSU has decided to host a virtual Spring Commencement on May 9 and a special spring graduate recognition event during Homecoming week in the fall semester.
But the soon to be VSU alumnae may have more pressing matters to worry about then not having a Spring Commencement.
Since the current health crisis, the unemployment rate in the U.S has increased within a one-month span.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, an April 3 unemployment report said the total nonfarm payroll employment fell by 701,000 in March, and the unemployment rate rose to 4.4% in the U.S.
An April 17 report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics also identified that in Feb. the unemployment rate sat at a 3.2% but increased to 4.2% by March in the state of Georgia alone.
With the increase of unemployment, some graduating seniors are fearful of not getting a job once they’ve received their degrees.
Spencer Moore, senior communications major said that she had a bunch of job interviews lined up, but due to COVID_19 her last in person interview has been canceled and she is stuck not knowing what will happen next.
“Before all of this I felt pretty good about finding a job. Unfortunately, now I’m not so confident,” she said. “Nobody really knows when this will all be over, so I’m not sure when I will be able to have a job. I’ve heard of companies laying people off, so why would they want to hire me right now? The future is so cloudy which makes me uncomfortable.”
Moore said that she has tried to remain positive but taking the last of her classes online has taken a toll on her.
“I’m a hands-on kind of learner. I do much better in a classroom setting,” Moore said. “It is easy to lose the motivation to do classwork when it is all online. It has been especially tough for my capstone class. “
Although the current job market has been affected by the current health crisis, VSU Career Opportunities is still operating virtually.
Virtual appointments are available for anyone who needs mock interviews, interview preparation or just needs help job searching.
Carla Jordan, interim director of Career Opportunities said that they are also still assisting graduating seniors continue their career path.
“Companies are seeking talent and preparing for the future of the corporation,” she said. “The unemployment rate has many factors regarding the employability of citizens. Therefore, no graduating senior should focus on the unemployment rate. Graduating seniors should focus on their career pathway and searching for the position in the area of interest.”
Jordan said that she advises any graduating senior to stay focused during this time and take advantage of all resources Career Opportunities is offering them.
“Even during good times, the job search takes fortitude for anyone. This is a time you put your best foot forward and apply for positions you are qualified to apply,” she said. “Now, the caution in job search for any student or alum is the feeling of rejection when it seems like no one is reviewing your application. “
“Remember the skills you have and the skills you have applied during your experience as a student,” Jordan said. “Also remember the student organizations and leadership roles you have served. Do not be afraid to take the job in another state. Most of all, know your value.”
Written by Lenah Allen,Campus Life Editor. Photo courtesy of Pexels.