Auburn graduate extends her stay in Auburn as she struggles to find a job due to COVID-19

From the WRBL Internship Assignment Desk

This story was produced as part of the WRBL 2020 Summer Intern program

Shaw with family and friends in downtown Auburn.

Auburn graduate Mary Kirk Shaw earned her bachelor’s degree in marketing in May to begin searching for jobs anywhere in the United States, but is struggling to find companies that are hiring.

COVID-19 has shut down numerous companies in the past three months and will continue to do so until further notice. Shaw had been eager to finish college and begin her career working for a fashion merchandising company.

“Finishing school has been a long time coming, but I’ve known it would be so worth the dedication,” Shaw said.

Shaw is one of many unemployed Americans searching for a job but due to the time, no employers are interested in hiring.

“It has been a complete shock and I know more people are going through it than just myself,” Shaw said. Shaw said she is open to working anywhere in the United States.

“I am not tied down to the South and especially not Auburn for that matter. Being 23 years old, I feel like I am free to travel and extend my job search and I’m actually very open to that,” Shaw said.

Shaw has applied to apparel marketing companies in Dallas and Austin, Texas, and plans on contacting employers in New York and New Jersey this month. She holds high hopes but low expectations to get hired during this time.

Even though she is disappointed she can’t score a job, Shaw highlights the positives of her situation.

Shaw and her father at a restaurant in
Auburn.

“Being in Auburn recently, I have been able to spend much of my time with friends at the pool or the Moore’s Mill golf course. It feels good to be able to reassure myself that I am making the most of my time here with my friends before I actually do leave,” Shaw said.

Shaw is in no rush to leave. “I’m still young, so I don’t believe I need to stress myself about finding a job so quickly,” Shaw said.

Even though Shaw dreams of marketing for a fashion apparel company, her dad is a marketing manager for a media marketing company in Birmingham. Her dad has offered to help her find a job in media, but that isn’t the dream she envisions for herself.

Shaw is holding high expectations and said she will continue to do so. She believes there is a perfect job lined up for her in the future and she will stay patient.

During this time of uncertainty, she has considered interning at America’s Mart in Atlanta this fall. She said it is a way for her to expand her knowledge and extend her experience with her major before she begins her career.

“Everything happens for a reason and this might be God giving me time for more experience with an internship before an actual job,” Shaw said.

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