Impact of COVID-19 on student and graduate careers - latest updates
Keep in touch with the latest developments in the current situation regarding student and graduate recruitment and employment by reading our regular latest update.
Latest update: 26 May 2020
We know many students are concerned about a reduction in opportunities to do internships or other work experience this summer. While some employers are taking steps to enable internships to take place remotely, for some it isn’t feasible to do this and they are postponing them. For those students who had an offer of an internship which has been cancelled, maintain a positive relationship with the organisation by checking your emails from them and responding to any communication – they may well seek to offer you a different kind of experience later on.
For all students looking for experience this summer:
- First and foremost, remember that employers know that everyone’s plans have changed. If you can’t find the kind of experience you were hoping to get, this won’t reflect on you.
- Vacancies are still being advertised on MyCareerHub, so keep checking. There are also new sites forming to advertise jobs that are being created as a response to Covid19. Those students in Edinburgh and the surrounding areas can check https://c19jobs.org/ - and we’ve put further advice on getting work experience on our blog.
- Make the most of the support the Careers Service offers before applying. You can use CV360 to get instant feedback on your CV, check out our advice on application forms on our website, and book an appointment to speak to one of our Careers Consultants.
We are available throughout the summer to help you with finding work, applying for work or study, thinking about your options – whatever year you are in, including when you have graduated. We’ll be updating final year students via email soon on the package of support we have available for you, and you can also keep an eye on our social media and website.
At the Careers Service we’re continuing to ensure we can bring you the most up to date information and advice on the impact of Covid19 for student and graduate careers.
We’ve updated our pages for students graduating in 2020 and recent graduates - get all the latest here:
You can also head to our Inform.ed blog for our latest on what industry sectors are thriving and surviving, and what this means for the student and graduate labour market.
You may have read our blog post last week about online learning. From the range of courses on LinkedIn Learning (to which University of Edinburgh students have free access), to platforms such as FutureLearn and Coursera there’s no shortage of online development opportunities. However, while of course we're advocates for personal development and are here to support you to develop your potential, if you don’t have the time or headspace for any of this during this uncertain and challenging period that's also fine. Focus on looking after yourself, and doing things which support your wellbeing.
The University has provided a guide to the wellbeing, advice and support services available to students, which you can access here:
Find out how you can talk to us and keep up to date with the latest news on our website:
We’re continuing to talk to employers in all sectors, to understand the potential impact of Covid19 on student and graduate careers.
What we’re hearing from our networks is that for those who had a job or internship lined up for this summer, keep engaging with the employer. We know that many are exploring ways to offer work experience of some kind if they can. Bear in mind that their website might not always be completely up to date, as the situation is evolving quickly – so follow them on social media (Twitter and LinkedIn are good) too.
We also know that professionals in the student and graduate recruitment sector - both working in university careers services and employers of all sizes - are thinking about the lessons learnt in the recession 2008-9. We know that some graduates due to enter the job market assumed that there weren’t any jobs at all – indeed some parts of the media did paint that picture – but that wasn’t borne out by the facts. Employers were still recruiting, and in some cases were struggling to get applicants. With this in mind, while there is no doubt that there will be an impact, if you were planning to look for a job or work experience our advice would be: don't stop.
If you don’t have any concrete plans for the next few months, you can take purposeful steps towards the future even while things are uncertain. LinkedIn Learning is full of courses, free to University of Edinburgh students that you can take to develop your skills. Use this time to seek out learning that you enjoy – a new craft, ten words in a new language, new tech skill, or learning more about yourself like your values or your strengths (try our online quizzes).
If you’re keen to earn money – read our latest blog post on work you can do from home. Be as flexible as you can about the kind of work you want.
Finally - and most importantly - take time to rest and look after yourself. The Student Association has tips on taking care of your mental health while self-isolating and social distancing.
As we progress into a further week of lockdown in the UK, the implications of COVID-19 for the student and graduate labour market are still unclear – and the picture from our update last week is unchanged.
Our message to you is still that you may need to be flexible and adaptable about your plans for the coming months, consider your plans B and C as well as A. From speaking to employers across a variety of sectors, we know that they are exploring ways to adapt their plans for summer internships and placements, for example by planning for internships to be carried out remotely, shortening the length of the programme, and building in more opportunities for training and mentoring. If you are holding an internship or graduate job offer and haven’t heard anything from the employer yet, you may need to be patient while they work things out.
This is a challenging time, and our team is here to support you with any questions you have – find out how you can talk to us and keep up to date with the latest news on our website:
There’s no doubt that we’re living in extraordinary and uncertain times, and the University of Edinburgh Careers Service is committed to supporting our students and recent graduates through them.
Our role is to provide you with the tools, resources and experiences you need to make informed choices about your future. There aren’t any easy answers at the moment, but you can count on us to bring you up-to-date and trustworthy news.
Obviously, there is particular uncertainty for many organisations about what will happen over the next few months, and this has the potential to affect spring and summer vacation schemes and internships. Flexibility and adaptability is going to be a necessary mindset for us all. We are already seeing employers adapting their recruitment practices to do online interviews and thinking about how internships can be carried out virtually, including the Employ.ed in an SME internships being advertised right now on MyCareerHub.
Employers are also looking ahead to when this current crisis passes – as it will - and we return to ‘the new normal’. For this, they’re thinking back to the lessons learnt from the recession in 2008: they need graduates. The current picture is that there will be a drop in immediate vacancies (e.g. some part-time jobs and summer internships) but many employers are still planning to continue their graduate schemes and are still looking for applicants.
When you’re thinking about options for the next few months, a flexible and adaptable outlook might mean considering a wider range of options for employment, or volunteering in order to develop additional experience and support your community.
We’ll be posting these updates on a regular basis, so keep checking in. We’ll also blog regularly with our opinion and analysis on the latest developments for student and graduate careers.
And if you want to talk to us - we’re here. You can find out how to get in touch on our FAQ page.