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Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

Scott Kull: The new Director of Athletics
Abigail Taylor, Contributing Writer • April 16, 2024

The Land Of (Cancelled) Opportunity

Illustration+by+Jonathan+Hall%2C+%E2%80%9920
Illustration by Jonathan Hall, ’20

Wofford students impacted by summer program cancellations

The Career Center and Office of Entrepreneurship, said that many professionals, including professional development staffs around the country and potential employers for students, recognize that this is “not fun for anyone, particularly college students in their junior or senior year who had big plans for the summer or big plans post-graduation.”

McPhail: “I’d encourage students to recognize that everyone—we’re all going through this together. There’s no playbook; no one knows exactly when it’s gonna be over. No one knows exactly what it’s gonna look like at the end of all this.”

Some students, such as Tyrus Peoples, ’21, are left very unsure of what they are going to do this summer in lieu of the opportunities that they had lined up prior to the pandemic. However, Peoples said that he was not surprised at the cancellation of his program, which would have afforded him the opportunity to work with the Contracts and Procurement Office of Events in Washington, D.C.

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Ellis Goodwin, ’22, was in the process of applying to multiple research programs in the medical field, and said that he, like Peoples, was “not upset or disappointed because I understood that this was most likely the best decision to make under these current circumstances.”

Despite his opportunities being cancelled, Goodwin remained optimistic that he will be able to secure another opportunity to conduct research in the future. Similarly, Peoples said he is grateful that his opportunity with the Contracts and Procurement Office will be offered in the summer of 2021.

While Goodwin and Peoples will have the chance to try and land the same opportunities that they applied for this year, Aryk Hennings, ’21, who was supposed to complete an internship with an IES study abroad program in Barcelona, Spain, had her program cancelled and will not have the same opportunity next summer.

Hennings: “I allowed myself some time to be upset, may or may not have cried, [and] then I came to terms with something that is out of my control. Once I realized the severity of COVID-19, I began to see that it was more important that we prioritized our health and wellness.”

In the meantime, Hennings said that she plans to “use this time to work on post-grad plans and mandated study times.” 

McPhail recommended that students use their extra time during the pandemic to “set up time to take care of yourself.”

McPhail: “That looks different for everyone. That could mean learning a language, that could be learning how to code, it could be taking advantage of free classes online, it could be making structured calls to alums, [or] using technology to grow your language.”

McPhail also encouraged students to search and apply for remote internships that may interest them. Whenever the quarantine period is over, McPhail estimated, “one of the most popular questions will be ‘what did you do during the quarantine?’ or ‘how did you handle the quarantine?’”

Students can still reach out to Wofford’s Career Center for advising on career searches and professional development. The Center currently offers open office hours on Wednesday mornings, senior happy hours on Thursdays at 4 p.m., and networking programs on Thursday mornings at 11. The Center is also hosting a three-part series entitled “Navigating the Job Market in a Crisis,” which features 2008 and 2009 Wofford graduates discussing their experiences graduating and searching for jobs during a national crisis.

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