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Virus Dashes Top-Flight Job Opportunities

April 22, 2020

This article was written by Brian Healy and published in Ravalli Republic, April 22, 2020.

I was excited to learn early in the spring that I had a shot at two great summer jobs.

Then both possibilities fell victim to the coronavirus, leaving me wondering how I will make money to help cover my University of Idaho sophomore-year expenses.

One of the job possibilities was being a counselor at the National Youth Science Camp in West Virginia that I attended last summer.

The selection committee chooses two science students from each state and from several Central and South America countries to have what many participants say is a life-changing experience. The summer camp I attended in 2019 was so inspiring that I applied for a counselor’s position this summer.

I got the sense from my interview with the camp director that I had a good chance of landing this job.

But I also had another terrific job opportunity — an internship at Rocky Mountain Laboratories in my hometown of Hamilton, Montana.

I had worked there part-time during my senior year of high school, and when I left, my supervisor said I would be welcome to return as a university intern.

With these great possibilities, I had no doubt I would be working in a meaningful and career-boosting job this summer, making money for the coming academic year.

Then I got word that the National Youth Science Camp was cancelled. The worry was that if even one person with coronavirus attended the event, a lot of the more than 100 students and several staff members could become inflected. It was just too risky.

I still had the standing internship offer at Rocky Mountain Laboratories — a job that many students would kill for — so thought I would be fine.

But just a week after the science camp was cancelled, the lab notified me that it was cancelling this summer’s internship program, too — also because of the coronavirus threat.

With both these top-flight opportunities gone, I have been scrambling to find another summer job.

The problem is that few businesses are hiring full-timers, part-timers or interns in these uncertain times.

As I finish my spring semester classes online, I’m wondering how I’ll come up with the money to help defray next year’s university expenses.

And I know I’m one of thousands of students across the country fretting about the same thing.

Brian Healy is a freshman from Hamilton, Montana, majoring in virtual technology and design.

Brian Healy

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The University of Idaho, home of the Vandals, is Idaho’s land-grant, national research university. From its residential campus in Moscow, U of I serves the state of Idaho through educational centers in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, nine research and Extension centers, plus Extension offices in 42 counties. Home to nearly 12,000 students statewide, U of I is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities, and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. U of I competes in the Big Sky and Western Athletic conferences. Learn more at uidaho.edu