Job searching and transitioning to the professional world for many college graduates is a stressful situation, even without a global pandemic complicating it.
LSU Manship School of Mass Communication alumna Alexandra Dragonir graduated in May 2020 as COVID-19 shuttered many businesses across the country.
Staffing and recruiting agency Insight Global interviewed Dragonir in February 2020 and offered her a job as a recruiter. Weeks later, LSU classes transitioned online for the remainder of the semester due to coronavirus concerns.
Many of Dragonir’s peers were worried about the job offers they had received as start dates were pushed back and offers were rescinded. Dragonir said she was nervous that her job offer would be withdrawn. Instead, her start date was only pushed back from mid-June to the first week of July.
Dragonir made the transition from Baton Rouge to Dallas in June, though her work has been virtual since she began. She joined the company as it was transitioning to a remote setting and employees were figuring out how to maintain a company culture focused heavily on teamwork.
“It’s been good,” Dragonir said. “It’s just been different.”
Dragonir and her coworkers like to sit on video calls with each other all day while working to recreate the office environment.
Involvement in extracurriculars at LSU such as cheer and Chi Omega gave her the skills necessary to transition to the workforce, Dragonir said. She built her time management skills when balancing her school, job, sorority and cheer schedules.
Time management and self-discipline served her well in the professional world because there is no time to fall behind, Dragonir said. She emphasized that her paycheck ultimately depends on her work ethic.
“It’s not going to work unless you work,” Dragonir said.
Her time at LSU and the Manship School prepared her well for the workforce, even though it looks different right now. Presentations, writing assignments and group projects mirror the teamwork and communication skills necessary to thrive in almost any professional role, she said.
“When they say 'it’s a degree that can take you anywhere,' it truly is,” Dragonir said of her mass communication degree.
For current students, Dragonir offered two pieces of advice: apply for internships early and take advantage of every opportunity LSU provides you. She emphasized that doing so will help students to get the most out of their college experience and be better prepared for life after graduation.
Campus may not be bustling with people right now, but don’t let that stop you from the fun things campus has to offer, Dragonir said.
“Soak up the time you have at LSU,” she added.