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Coronavirus In Pennsylvania: Graduating College Seniors Faced With Even More Uncertainty Than Usual Because Of The Pandemic

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - The end of college is supposed to be a joyful time: graduation, family celebrations, the excitement of starting a new job.

But KDKA's Rick Dayton learned the class of 2020 is also dealing with a good bit of uncertainty.

For parents of college seniors, the words of Emily Gumienny are music to their ears.

"On the last day of my internship, I was given an offer for full-time employment, and I loved my experience at PNC a lot," says Gumienny. She will graduate with a degree in accounting from Grove City College next month.

Later this summer, the Laurel High School graduate will start full-time with PNC Bank in Pittsburgh.

For Jacob Seymour, things aren't quite so clear. The senior at La Roche University figured he would be pitching his final season of college baseball. Now he's got his fingers crossed about a new job.

"For me, it really is all what happens in Orlando," says Seymour. The right-handed pitcher continues, "If you get the job, then it's kind of just like too good of an opportunity to pass up." If he doesn't get the job, he may return to LaRoche for a fifth year and use a recent NCAA ruling to play his senior season next spring.

Jared Panza is senior at St. Vincent College in Latrobe. He is from Shaler. He and a half dozen senior teammates already saw their senior spring get flipped upside down by a microscopic virus.

"The ones that don't have jobs right now are still looking, but they're also still considering grad school, knowing that coming into this job market right now is going to be rough," he said.

A college diploma can open a lot of doors, but the question that many college seniors are asking right now is "will that degree be enough?" Do they want to take the diploma and start knocking on doors, or do they go back for another major or a graduate degree and add to their skills.

Panza says "On Sunday night, I was in a big video conference with five other seniors, and they all talk about the possibility of grad school just being the best option, you know, even spending $25,000 just for the hopes that maybe we'd get a job in a year and a half."

Seymour says that instead of throwing curveballs, he's learning to adjust to the one life just threw at him.

"A lot of the programs at La Roche are very close, like in business particularly," he said. "You can go to school for one major and then come back and get another major by just taking a few extra classes."

If the job doesn't come through in Florida, that's what he plans to do.

Even though Gumienny will soon say so-long to her friends at Grove City College, she will have to wait a bit longer before starting full-time at the bank.

"I will be working remotely from home, in the meantime, they reached out and offered me a position where I'll be doing some work in regards to the CARES Act in small business loans that I can do from home," says Gumienny.

It shows there really is no normal path for these soon-to-be college grads.

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