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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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