Coronavirus forces IU senior to apply for unemployment while applying for jobs

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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Coronavirus has changed life for many, including college seniors who are not only finishing school online, but they’re applying for jobs in a market that’s largely not hiring.

One student who, just weeks ago, was looking forward to life after graduation said, instead of applying for jobs, she’s applying for unemployment.

Karli VanCleave, an Indiana University senior majoring in broadcast journalism, was let go from two part-time jobs when coronavirus forced businesses to close. She says life after college is uncertain too.

“I applied to a bunch of jobs, but just about the time I would expect to get calls and stuff is when all of this blew up,” she said.

Karli is among roughly 21,000 students graduating from IU in May, and job placement resources there, like at schools nationwide, are now online only.

Job postings vary by program. In the IU Kelley School of Business, for example, representatives say industries hiring include health care, manufacturing, online retail. While job posting cancellations include traditional retail, food, and consumer discretionary, like cruise lines. 

In the journalism program, Karli says postings are slim and tools she needs are on campus, not available now.

“We don’t have access to our cameras, we don’t have access to the studio, we don’t have access to the editing bays,” she said.

Though future employment is up in the air, Karli maintains a positive perspective.

“There are a lot of other people in this pandemic that are suffering a lot more,” she said. “This has really humbled me.”

Representatives from IU advise graduating seniors to connect with career services online now, don’t wait.

They say companies are hiring, but students need to be open in their search with parameters like geographic location and industry.

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