Amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, some Ewha students are getting ready for their graduation in August. However, due to the severity of the virus, students are facing a new phase in preparing for their graduation.
According to Saramin, a platform for recruitment and job openings, job openings on the platform from January to March 2020 declined by 20 percent compared to the same period in 2019. The reduction in employment by companies mainly arose from decreased production activities, lower sales, and the need to cut down personnel expenses.
Meanwhile, companies such as SK Telecom and Hyundai are conducting video interviews to prevent the spread of the virus when recruiting employees.
Lee Da-kyoung, a student in her master’s course in the Department of Statistics, is scheduled to graduate in the coming month of August. She shared her thoughts on how the coronavirus influenced her job preparation process.
“I experienced firsthand how the coronavirus deeply influenced seniors,” Lee said. “Since many companies have reduced the number of selectees from the document screening process, which is the first stage of recruitment, all my colleagues including myself were discouraged and wondered how much qualification people needed to pass that step.”
She explained that big corporations such as Samsung Electronics usually selected 10 times the number of final selectees in the first stage. However, all but one of her friends who applied for the company failed this time. She felt that it would be the same for other major companies.
At the beginning of her master’s, Lee originally intended to apply only to companies where alumni have commonly headed. After the pandemic, however, Lee said most students decided to apply to any random company as most of them reduced the number of selectees.
Choi Sun-ah, a senior majoring in history, also stated that she could easily notice the decrease in the number of job openings.
“Even if there are job openings, the number of selectees has decreased significantly,” Choi said. “Some even could not pass the document screening process, even though they had gone to the very last stage of recruitment in 2019.”
Lee also added that many are focusing on preparing for an AI interview because it is more frequently used amid the pandemic.
Changes have occurred not only to job preparation, but also to the graduation ceremony. To prevent further spread of the virus, the school postponed the graduation ceremony in February to August. However, it is uncertain whether the graduation ceremony will be held offline despite the rescheduling.
“As we are monitoring the current situation, we are still thinking over about holding the graduation ceremony in August,” stated a manager from Ewha Registrar. “As of now, we have no concrete plans.”
When asked about the number of expected graduates in August, Ewha Registrar replied that the exact number will be confirmed in early August. According to the Registrar, there were about 2,000 students who graduated in August 2019.
Choi shared her opinion about the uncertainty of holding an offline graduation ceremony.
“Although it is a little disappointing, it seems trivial compared to the job preparation process I am going through,” Choi said. “Other friends of mine told me that they would like to join the graduation ceremony after the virus is eased.”