By Sofia Merlo, 3rd-year BCom student

As I recently looked at my emails – a solid stream of interview cancellations for my summer co-op and internship applications – it occurred to me that things are not going to be “normal” again for a while. So what to do?

It’s a challenging time. Our very societal structures are being tested, and business systems may not come out unscathed. As a student, I understand how critical the lockdowns are and that they must happen in order to flatten that villainous curve of COVID-19. So here I am, along with hundreds of thousands of students facing the same dilemma: can we do something while in a type of limbo?

Is this a hidden opportunity to have more freedom and explore creative avenues, or do I accept being unemployed for a semester and use my laptop as an education access tool?

To say most students are confused and worried about the future is an understatement. No one promised us a guaranteed job at the end of our efforts, but we could reference historic experiences and see that it is likely we’ll find a career. The future for everyone is now looking clear as mud.

That being said, students want to help employers during these difficult times. We can support organizations through our fresh perspectives and ideas, our ability to work remotely, and our resilient attitude. I see how medical students are expediting their graduation so that they can join the ranks of our brave and resilient health care workers on the front lines. How can we, as business students, step up?

Organizations on the front lines need help – not just at the registers or delivering, but analyzing data to predict effective routes or building better employee supports. We are ready to step up and that experience will be a two-way win, which I believe could be better than taking another course online and sneak viewing episodes of Tiger King (although I must admit, I have found myself doing both).

So, employers: we know you plan on making it to the other side. How can we help?


Looking for support with co-op and job search? Co-op and career services continue to be available virtually to students and alumni. Current students seeking information about co-op, please visit the UVic Co-op COVID-19 page.