CWU seniors’ post graduation plans change due to COVID-19 outbreak

Karina Severino, Staff Reporter

Life after graduation requires planning and preparation. Due to COVID-19, seniors have faced many changes to their original plans and are having to make adjustments.

Ruby Nambo is an English language arts teaching major with a minor in bilingual education/ teaching English as a second language (TESL).

Nambo was originally set to graduate this spring but won’t be able to due to her student teaching being canceled.

“This was supposed to be my last quarter, [and] from there I was going to prepare myself to get my teaching certificate and at the same time go find a job and go from there,” Nambo said. “But now, due to this pandemic that we’re in, it kind of made me shift my plans a little bit.”

Because K-12 classes are being held online right now, there are many requirements for her teaching license that she can’t do online.

She, along with other student teachers, were told in a meeting that they would have to come back in the fall to finish up the last requirements for their teaching certificates.

“When I first heard about this, I was really upset because this was one of those moments I’ve been looking forward to the whole year,” Nambo said. “This made me postpone getting a job, but now I can take my time and not rush into getting my teaching certificate.”

For many students, the last courses they take for their major require in -person experience to prepare them for their field.

Jessica Hernandez, a senior business major with a minor in event planning and management, said this pandemic changed her plans for preparation after college.

Hernandez said she had a potential internship for the summer she found through a career fair before the stay-at-home order. Now, she’s not sure if she will be applying since it is in western Washington and things are so unsure at this time.

“I had a practicum planned for this quarter, and I was going to basically double dip with work for that credit,” Hernandez said. “But now I can’t do that anymore since the practicum was for my event planning class.”

Now that she can’t do her practicum due to spring events being canceled, she is taking more preparatory credits.

“It’s a little bit more hectic work-wise than it is academic-wise because I can do school work online but I can’t do work online since half of my job is events,” Hernandez said.

Marcelo Berganza, a senior biology major, is graduating this spring and said his last few lab classes have been very different.

“One of the things that’s kind of actually impacting me right now is I’m taking molecular biotechnology and that’s the class where they are teaching us and going into detail of all regular [lab] procedures,” Berganza said. “Because of [COVID-19] everything has been moved online and that class is heavy on lab time.”

Since classes have been moved online, he said every week they have to write out every step they would do if they were in a  lab and then watch videos of other people doing the experiments.

The jobs he’s considering all require at least a year of experience in a lab. This last quarter would have been completing that year of experience that is required.

However, Berganza feels he is not getting the hands-on experience he would be getting if he were in a real lab setting.

“It’s really tough, you know, learning science and biology through the computer,” Berganza said. “These are the procedures that, if I go looking for a job, that’s the experience they will be looking for.”