Post-Pandemic Job Hunting

On Nov. 5, the Associated Press reported that employers added 531,000 jobs in the past month, the most since July as well as a sign that the pandemic recession is gradually decelerating.

“When Covid initially hit, a lot of companies paused and had to figure out what to do next to still deliver services and make it through this unprecedented time,” said Keith Hassel, director of Career and Professional Development. “Now companies are preparing for the future. They are looking for people to support them with a digital presence and to work smarter not harder through this new normal.”

Some students are not too concerned with the current state of the job market since there are many new openings in their field.

“I’m not too concerned with job security because the healthcare field right now is really struggling to keep up with high demands and many already in that position are struggling with burn out from being overworked during the pandemic,” said senior Krista Shultz, biology major with a minor in chemistry on the pre-physician’s assistant track.

 Others within Shultz’s major and minor have similar thoughts as graduating seniors going into the medical field.

“Job security in the future is always something to think about,” said senior Ally Paglino. “What I’m hopeful for is that being in the medical field they’ll always need nurses, physician’s assistants (PA), nurse practitioners (NP), doctors of medicine (MD), doctors of osteopathic medicine (DO), and every other position needed to run facilities like urgent cares, clinics and hospitals.”

While some students are more hopeful in their future job prospects, there are others outside of the healthcare field who are facing more difficulties.

“It is a requirement to have an internship to graduate from the business school,” said junior Cami Weiss. “I am concerned because I lost time due to the pandemic and now must rush to find an opportunity.”

For those seeking internships and jobs, Sacred Heart’s Center for Career and Professional Development offers many opportunities for students to meet potential employers with their newly remodeled career fairs.

“We are breaking down the traditional career fair and hosting recruitment weeks instead,” said Hassell. “We are going to have employers on campus pretty much morning to night for weeks recruiting for different opportunities. This will create a more intimate experience and students will be 1 in 20 in a room opposed to 1 in 400.”

Additionally, the center has also launched a new website for students to be able to get the tools they need to join the work force or apply to graduate school.

“There is a new website that launched at the start of the pandemic that allows students access to all our resources as well as schedule an appointment,” said Hassell. “We are helping students with their resume, cover letter, to find opportunities to apply, mock interviews and even negotiating offers.”

However, some students think that they need more practice on their own before they can go into the field of their choice and choose to take a gap year, or a year off from school to often study, work or travel.

“I feel like I need more preparation before entering the healthcare field,” said Schultz. “The pandemic has really limited my opportunities in terms of gaining experience and also learning from PAs and doctors. When the delta variant spiked again, it was hard to continue shadowing a PA through my program. I have not been able to complete all my hours needed to apply to PA school, so I need this gap year.”

While many have been looking for jobs and internships, students should always keep searching to improve their chances of success.

“Looking for a job is a full-time job and a game,” said Hassell. “It is how you play the game.”

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