“Coronanomics” Virtual Panel Hosted by Business and Economics Faculty and CPD

More than 80 people, including reporters from various national and regional news outlets, tuned in for the virtual panel and discussion on Wednesday, April 1. Panelists covered various economic topics ranging from student loans to summer internships, while observers asked questions in the chat box feature of the streaming program.

The “coronanomics” discussion is a direct response to the growing concerns of students all across the country facing a new economic crisis in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The panelists included four business and economics faculty members, including Scott Deacle, Andrew Economopoulos, Chris Heredlin and Vera Brusentsev, while Sharon Hansen, director of Career and Post-Graduate Development shared insight into the internship and job market. The Ursinus College Investment Management Company (UCIMCO) student leader Parker Wolf ’20 provided a student perspective on the ongoing economic impact.

“We are living through an historic moment,” Deacle said. “First and foremost, there are big concerns about everyone’s health, but there is also a concern about what will happen to us in our economic lives. We are experiencing historic drops in production, investment, consumption and income.”

With some major upcoming events like the Olympics getting postponed, the future for many people can seem unclear at the moment. Wolf talked about his experience as a current student planning for his post-graduate career. “From a student perspective, especially as a graduating senior, these constant updates are creating more uncertainty for the summer.”

Wolf also talked about concerns that stimulus checks might not reach many college students due to their age and dependent-status as well as the nationwide worry about domino effects in rising costs for education.

Over the hour-long discussion, the dedicated panel covered the questions posed by students.

“I think this is the time when Ursinus shines, because we are such a strong community,” Hansen said, “Our students have the skills and are developing the skills that are needed to succeed. We’re here to help you pivot as it relates to your job future and internship search.”

Hansen said that although the Office of Career and Post-Graduate development has shifted to a fully online operation, they continue to provide personalized attention for students as they prepare to enter the workforce. Those tactics include:

  • A weekly newsletter to highlight how the office is utilizing remote platforms, such as Go To Meeting, to assist students. It has been pinned onto Handshake for easy student access.
  • Students can use Handshake to schedule one-on-one appointments to meet virtually with career advisors.
  • The CPD website highlights many virtual-specific and general job prep resources. Students can practice their interview techniques in a virtual format.
  • All seniors have received a personalized invitation from one of the career advisors to participate in a graduate planning session.
  • Employers are being engaged to assess the work environment, assist students in creating “virtual” internship/job opportunities, and aid in their continuing recruiting of Ursinus students.

Watch the recording of the virtual panel here.