College graduates experience a new job search during the pandemic

MADISON, Wis. — Graduation for students at UW-Madison is six days away, and the pandemic is changing their job search.

Last year, graduating seniors found that the pandemic put a hold on their lives. This made it hard for them to start their future careers.

Senior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Baily Syring, says her senior year did not go the way she expected it to.

“It was really stressful because it hit January and I had no idea what I was doing,” Syring said. “I kinda panicked a little bit and it feels like it was that way for everybody.”

Although it was not easier this year, seniors say they took note from last years’ experience to make sure it doesn’t happen to them.

David LeClair works as the Career and Employment Advisor at Madison College. This year, he said there were more job listings.

“We survey graduating students every year and so far those graduating and have responded to our survey, over 80% are confident or have employment lined up,” LeClair said. 

The pandemic pushed businesses to be creative with hiring and job positions. These new, creative ideas are said to be permanent.

Additionally, career advisors say virtual skills will become something students put on their resume.

“There are a lot more opportunities out there this year, a lot of companies have adapted and their style is more remote opportunities,” Leclair said.

While senior year did not go as planned, Baily is excited to start a new adventure at Tesla later this month.

“I’m excited, it doesn’t feel real still,” Syring said. “I keep having last moments, it hasn’t set in yet.”