Lehigh students encounter possible alterations and the threat of cancelations to their summer plans due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Many students, specifically juniors, are facing changes with their jobs as companies adapt social distancing strategies with the growing threat of the virus.
“I was originally stationed in D.C., but now we are moved completely online,” said Holly Santero, ‘21, who has a solutions sales position for IBM.
With the initial plan of experiencing client-facing sales tactics and public speaking in an office environment, Santero said she was really excited for an immersive experience in sales.
But last week, she was informed via email that she would be working remotely with only the potential to work in the office if the circumstances surrounding the pandemic changed.
“I am extremely grateful for the company’s dedication and commitment with their efforts to keep our jobs going, despite the outbreak of the coronavirus,” Santero said.
Santero said the pay, as far as she knows, has not been altered. She said she is grateful that she still has her job after having to cut her abroad trip short.
Jacob Kaplan, ‘21, had made summer plans to work at Alchemi Capital, a finance industry in Boston.
“As of now, my summer opportunity has not been canceled,” said Kaplan. “I have heard from some friends that there is buzz about companies starting to cancel jobs and reduce opportunities for the summer, though.”
With the intent of pursuing his work as planned, Kaplan said this summer should help him grow as a professional and a person. He said he hopes to learn more about how private equity works, and wants to become more comfortable in a professional business setting.
However, if last minute changes are made due to the coronavirus outbreak, Kaplan said he doesn’t have any backup plans if his work gets canceled.
“I would most likely look for a local or part-time job option, or help out around my house and find another way to make some spending money,” Kaplan said.
Isabel Brennan, ‘21, has a position with assurance services at EY.
“This summer, I’m hoping to mostly spend my time absorbing as much information as I can throughout the day with this new opportunity, whether it be at my client site in NYC or EY’s main office in Times Square,” Brennan said.
With no news of summer cancellation, EY communicated to her that there would be alterations, whether changing it to be online or pushing the start date back. The firm is still in the midst of deciding what the best option is for the company, Brennan said.
Despite not receiving any news about EY’s company decision, Brennan said since the firm functions similarly to other Big Four firms, she is worried that it will get canceled, too.
“I honestly have no other plans for this summer,” Brennan said. “This is a big component that stresses me out as I typically work over the summer to collect spending money for the next school year.”