Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Eckerd was forced to close down campus and move its classes online for the rest of the spring semester. But that’s not all that the campus closure has hindered. Students across all disciplines and years have been affected by the loss of campus jobs, internships and research positions.
Though the loss of opportunities has affected underclassmen, seniors also need to consider how to find a job post-graduation.
Senior Ellie Foden worked an on-campus job in the library and had an internship with Scubi Jew. Though her internship has been able to resume remotely, her library position was not.
Though Foden is slightly concerned about losing her on-campus job, her main concern is trying to find a job after she graduates.
“My entire life has kind of been flipped upside down. I was planning on staying in St. Pete after I graduated, but I had to go home to Connecticut when the campus closed. I’ve been applying to jobs, but I haven’t heard back from anybody because companies aren’t hiring right now, so I’m kind of just waiting until all of this blows over,” Foden said.
Junior Leia Villamizar worked as a lifeguard and as a TA for a Geological Oceanography Lab. Villamizar misses the financial independence that working two to three jobs a semester gave her. She’s still waiting to see if her TA position will be able to resume remotely.
“I have been lifeguarding [on campus] since May 2018 and the comfort of knowing I have a well paying job [during the school year and] over the summer is the thing that, the whole virus situation, has affected me the most,” Villamizar said.
First-year Talia Lima was training to be a student ambassador and was supposed to start an internship in the Women’s Resource Center on campus.
“I recently got two campus jobs and I was in the middle of my training for both of them when campus got shut down. I was really excited to be more involved in the Eckerd community, but I guess I’ll have to wait until next year,” Lima said.
Career Services hopes to help students as much as possible during this troubling time.
“Career Services is deeply concerned about the impact the coronavirus is having on the labor market and professional opportunities. We believe our work is essential when students and alumni face increased employment uncertainty, economic upheaval, and rising anxiety,” Director of Career Services Grant Bailey said in an email.
Career Services intends to use remote delivery as much as possible: this includes online advising appointments, new opportunities on Triton Track and online career events.
Advising appointments will continue to help students search, apply and receive offers for jobs, internships and research experience. Career Advisors are available and eager to work with students remotely, with phone and video appointments able to be scheduled on TritonTrack at any time.
Previously-scheduled events have moved online, and Career Services has scheduled new online events which are posted in the Spring Events for Students calendar.
Career Service also intends to move certain on-campus jobs online if possible.
“With over 1k on-campus positions, we were early advocates that the Student Employment Program not be shut down entirely,” Bailey said.