Last week, I had a minor breakdown from mental stress because this question kept haunting me:
'What next after lockdown?'
As an international student studying in a foreign country, seeking work opportunities is quite tasking. Much more, the chances of getting a job have gotten slimmer as a result of the pandemic. While some companies have canceled their graduate programs, others have postponed indefinitely. Although, I have questioned, 'why cancel and not reimagine the workplace?', I cannot blame those trying to manage their financial position. My dilemma does not stem from impatience neither do I lack empathy for the consequences of the pandemic, but I honestly worry that visa renewal would be due soon. Hence, my job search is time-bound.
On my last visit to my career advisor before the pandemic, he said to me, 'I do not see why you should not get a job soon. You have strong experience and background for an entry-level.' Although, these words gladdened my heart then, I cannot help but wonder now as more rejection emails come in, if my qualifications and experience really matter at this present time. Nevertheless, I have decided to avoid wallowing in self-dejection but to focus on increasing my capacities, broadening my mental horizon, and developing my understanding of the renewable energy field to the level that I am able to contribute intelligently to ongoing discussions. In addition, I have committed to volunteering actively. My most recent being for the Women in Sustainability Network.
Still, this goes beyond me to the hundreds of other international students in the same situation. The National Indian Student and Alumni Union (NISAU) has started a petition to the UK government to extend the 2-year visa to the 2019/2020 students due to Covid-19 to give us more time. I would like to make an appeal to you if you are a British citizen or you are a resident in the UK, that you please help in signing this petition.
Kobe Bryant said, "Everything negative - pressure, challenges, is all an opportunity for me to rise." I choose to see stepping stones and not obstacles.
Please stay safe.