Leeds Beckett graduate students reveal the devastating impact Covid-19 has had on their job searches

Leeds Beckett Headingley campus with a clear blue sky aboveLeeds Beckett Headingley campus

Leeds Beckett grad students describe the difficulties of getting a job post-covid after “all graduate schemes have been cancelled”.

Coronavirus has impacted job prospects for graduate students greatly. Many who had secured a job or received an offer have seen amazing opportunities withdrawn as the pandemic continues to cause significant economic disruption.

Leeds Beckett Journalism graduate student, Katie Lyons, describes her negative experience with post-grad employment: “I did get an interview back in March to go to CNN for the summer internship, but two days later it ended up getting cancelled, so I felt that covid had really hit me hard”.

Another Journalism graduate student, Molly Clayton, further demonstrated the disappointment graduates are feeling. She said, “I just kept getting email after email that these graduate schemes were being cancelled”.

“It is a common behaviour for individuals to perceive their careers and jobs as part of their identity.”

Gabriela Whitehead

Katie also expressed fears over how a virtual approach to recruitment could affect graduates.

“They can’t always see how much effort you’ve put into a task. In person you have that charisma, you have that excitement about you, you have that passion, so I do think it will have a long term impact”.

Universities are doing what they can to support students through this. Leeds Beckett’s careers team said, “We have lead sessions around virtual interviews and mock assessment centres, and have supported many students with updating CVs”.

The Institute of Student Employers also highlighted the negative impact a virtual recruitment process could have on graduate students from disadvantaged backgrounds, “[They] may not have as much access to technology, broadband and private space as their better off peers”.

Prospects Luminate conducted a survey on what new graduate’s biggest concerns were for their career prospects; fewer job vacancies in their industry proved to be their biggest concern. Leeds Beckett’s careers team confirmed this fear.

They said “There has been a reduction in certain companies from certain industries working with us. Whilst organising our job fairs we found it more challenging to get an organisation to commit to attending as they were unable to comprehend the amount of recruitment they required.”

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