The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Students talk finding jobs after pandemic

Students talk finding jobs after pandemic - The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

File photo: Students wait outside the Mays Center in the Science and Technology Building at Texas A&M University-San Antonio on Aug. 20, 2020. The Mays Center provides career help for students and alumni. Photo By Maegan Mendoza

As students near graduation, they are left with one final task: find a job. With the pandemic in mind and the many shifts the world is making, upcoming graduates have a new world of employment to navigate.

What are they looking for in employers? What are their deal breakers? What are the qualities recent grads will gravitate to? 

English senior Jessica Rangel said she’s looking to feel “valued.” 

Rangel has worked different types of jobs, she currently works as a student worker at the Texas A&M University-San Antonio Writing Center. 

Having an employer that is flexible and cares about mental health are the qualities Rangel said she is looking for. 

“I’m not going to stress my life over a job,” Rangel said. 

Graduating this Spring, Rangel has been in the workforce for “over 20 years.” Rangel said she has seen changes in what the workforce looks like, especially after the pandemic. 

Rangel said  she “wants to be able to make a difference” after graduating. Having a job that is fulfilling is what is most important, Rangel said. 

“Honestly, to me it’s like not about money. It’s more about what is my passion,” Rangel said. 

That is also true for many other graduating students, recent grads are looking for jobs that offer work-life balance, benefits, a healthy work environment and opportunities to grow. 

While students like Rangel have seen some changes within the workforce after the pandemic, there are other students who have not.

Communications junior Dominique Merrill is on the other side of the spectrum when it comes to looking for employment during the pandemic. 

When asked if she saw a change in employment, Merrill said her “thoughts haven’t changed.” 

Even when it comes to working from home, (which some found to be beneficial) Merrill comes in on the opposing side to those who enjoy working from home. For your typical office employee working from home offered a better work-life balance than the traditional workspace. 

“I would not ever want to work from home,” Merrill said. “It’s terrible I don’t like it.” 

Merrill said she did not like the lack of social interaction while she worked from home during the pandemic.

Today’s generations would argue that the traditional workspace doesn’t allow for their employees to have a work-life balance, a quality that is sought after by graduates. However, Merrill disagrees. 

“The people around me do have a work-life balance,” Merrill said.

 Merrill said her stance comes from her background as a military brat.

Merrill said employers that are understanding and respectful of her in the workplace is a quality she values. 

Though on opposing sides, Rangel and Merrill can agree that having an employer that is understanding is key. Through these perspectives, there is some thought to be given about the future of employment and where future grads are taking it. 

Future grads can contact The Mays Center for Experiential Learning located in the Science and Technology building in room 111. The office is open from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Monday – Friday. 

Email: mays@tamusa.edu 

Phone Number: (210) 784-1356 

About the Author

Victoria Simmons
Staff Writer
Victoria Simmons is a communication junior at Texas A&M University-San Antonio. She transferred from Northwest Vista College to A&M-San Antonio in fall of 2021. She works as a cashier at her local H-E-B plus. In her spare time she enjoys listening to music while taking long walks. Upon graduating, she hopes to pursue a career in the arts as a creative director or photojournalist.

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