Billions across the world are feeling the effects of COVID-19. Of these thousands, soon-to-be college graduates represent a group which COVID-19 has hit hard. These new graduates are preparing to enter the workforce at a time where many companies are not hiring and even laying off their current employees in order to keep their heads above water.
Oklahoma Christian University’s graduates are doing their best to navigate the difficult landscape. Seniors Haleigh Evans and Alex Faught graduate in less than a month and their career path remains uncertain.
Evans, a public relations major, hoped to pursue a career in event planning upon graduation. Evans says COVID-19 has made life seem surreal and taken some of her final experiences away from her.
“This time is filled with a lot of uncertainty for everyone in the world,” Evans said. “There is already so much uncertainty that comes with being a month out from graduating college. Under the unfortunate circumstances, I did not get to have a lot of my ‘lasts’ in college, and life has a completely different feel than ever before has been challenging. Sometimes I feel like life is at a complete stop right now and nothing is happening outside of my house.”
Evans said she believes the hiring process for recent graduates will be made more difficult for those without experience.
“In my opinion, the first thing on any company’s mind is bouncing back from this, and unfortunately, the last step of that is hiring new people,” Evans said. “I believe a lot of the job markets will be hiring, but not necessarily people they are going to have to pour time into and train.“
Through his work with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Faught said he has seen first-hand how COVID-19 has impacted the industry.
“Being involved in the sports industry, COVID-19 has completely shut down every single major league, youth league, recreational league, gym, athletic facility,” Faught said. “Being employed by the Thunder, I immediately saw the effects of the virus when the game last month got postponed and was eventually canceled minutes before tip when Rudy Gobert ended up testing positive. The consumption of sports is widespread, and the damages to team and league owners in terms of revenue is devastating. Luckily, many teams and their respective star players have worked out programs to help pay their part-time, game day and arena staff.”
Faught believes there is not anything to be done right now which will solve everyone’s problems, but also said it is important to remember no matter how big the problem is, God is bigger.
“Being a sports management major, nobody is currently hiring because we don’t know how long this will last,” Faught said. “However, it is important to have patience, and trust that you are equipped enough to succeed in whatever door opens for you. This pandemic is big, but our God is bigger and I know that at the end of the day, my trust rests in him and that his plan will be fulfilled in my life.”