Drake University students have struggled to get experience through jobs and internships since the COVID-19 outbreak. As many companies and organizations deal with the coronavirus and staying afloat in a pandemic, they have had to dismiss employees and cancel internships.
Thousands of workers have become unemployed because companies can no longer afford to keep them on due to the pandemic. Drake students, who have a job or internship, have been part of this mass layoff chain.
Caroline Evans, a junior at Drake University, accepted an offer from Nationwide as a Small Market Commercial Lines Underwriting Intern. Because of the pandemic, Nationwide canceled all Property and Causality internship programs, according to Evans. Evans said she believes companies should help interns get some experience whether it be online or somewhere else.
“I won’t be able to get internship experience at an insurance firm doing underwriting before I graduate now that it was canceled,” Evans said. “I think this will make it more difficult for me to know what I was to do with my Finance degree post-grad when I enter the workforce.”
Instead of canceling internships, some companies have postponed internships and jobs for new employees.
Kate Kelly, a junior at Drake University, was planning to work as a Private Wealth Management Intern at Baird for the summer of 2020. Her internship was postponed leaving her with no opportunity to learn more and gain experience from the opportunity.
“It has affected all the skills I would’ve learned in that first month, and if it gets canceled, it can affect future career opportunities,” Kelly said.
With the economy getting hit hard due to the pandemic, companies are struggling financially. Many seniors at Drake University worry about their future job or if they will be able to find a job in such a struggling economy.
Emily Larson, a senior at Drake University, is an editorial apprentice at Meredith Corporation and has to work remotely until May 1 when the program will now end. Being worried about securing a job after graduation, Larson is one of many seniors that are uncertain about their careers after graduation because of layoffs and how bad the economy has been getting. Larson said she thinks Meredith is doing the best they can with the situation but would prefer to learn hands-on.
“I’m still writing pieces but with a lot less guidance now. I don’t have a secure job yet and I’m afraid I won’t get one by graduation,” Larson said.
Rebekka Rantanen, a freshman at Drake University, works as a pharmacy technician at a local Walgreens. Since the pandemic began, Rantanen said it has affected her job by requiring employees to be extremely safe through masks, gloves, and social distancing at work. She also said COVID-19 has changed a lot of how healthcare and pharmacy work.
“It’s affected my career because this virus is so impactful towards jobs in healthcare, and it will change how pharmacy and other healthcare jobs are perceived by the population in the future,” Rantanen said.