Pandemic Affects Senior Post-Graduation Plans; Two Spartans Share Experiences

Alex Baker

Many seniors at Manchester University have been looking forward to the next chapter in their lives. However, COVID-19 has put a stop to Spartans’ dreams—temporarily at least.

Interviews have been postponed, which means that people have to wait for their shot at gaining an internship or a job. This has left many seniors stressed out as they do not know how to react to such an extraordinary time. Job offers have also been rescinded.

Justin C. Winterboer, senior business management and sales double major, had an internship with Geico this past summer. Winterboer was part of a select group that was chosen to be Geico’s summer interns, so he knew this opportunity was one he could not waste.

“I was very fortunate to have this internship because hundreds of other students applied,” Winterboer said. “It was such a great internship, and I was hoping that I could continue at Geico as an actual employee once school is done.”

Winterboer’s wish came true, and he was offered a position soon after the internship ended. Not only did he get offered a job, in Geico’s management development program, but the other fellow interns did too.

However, Geico rescinded their offers, due to the pandemic.

Winterboer was devastated. “I was really looking forward to a successful career at Geico,” he said. “This has taken a toll on me because I have to restart my whole process over and think of other jobs that are most suitable for me.”

He lives off-campus and has thought about the idea of living in North Manchester for a couple of years until his career jumpstarts. He has looked at job opportunities in North Manchester, Wabash and Warsaw. For now, he will continue his job search as he is eager to start life post-Manchester.

On the brighter side, some students have been successful while applying for graduate school. Evan Harris, senior English major, recently got accepted to Ball State’s graduate school program for journalism.

Harris is overwhelmed with excitement and cannot wait to prolong his writing career. “Writing is something I have always enjoyed, so I knew I had to continue my schooling to become the best I can be at it,” Harris said. “Ball State was number one on my list, so I am thankful that I got accepted.”

To keep Harris busy throughout the summer, he has recently applied for a remote position in Fort Wayne where he would use his editing and proofreading skills. “This would be a great opportunity for me to have before I start graduate school,” Harris said. He is patiently waiting to hear back.

There have been some negatives while applying for graduate schools. Interviews have to be conducted via video call, and certain programs have moved their start dates back because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

But there are positives too. Some programs may be waiving standardized tests for students. For example, some marketing programs want their students to take the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), which can only be taken at a testing center that is close to their respective homes. Since no one is supposed to leave their house besides to get essentials, schools have let students apply for a waiver of this test if they think they have a strong academic background.