Prof's advice for college grads entering coronavirus-hit job market: 'Take control of what you can control'

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Fox News contributor Brian Brenberg joined “Fox & Friends” Thursday to offer advice to college graduates entering the coronavirus-affected job market.

Brenberg, the executive vice president and chair of the Program in Business and Finance at The King’s College in New York City, acknowledged that the current job market is "tough,"  but added that “we’ve had tough job markets in the past and that’s one of the things to keep in mind as you try to figure out what your next steps are.”

The Labor Department reported on Thursday that more than 3.8 million Americans filed for unemployment last week, pushing the six-week total of job losses since states adopted strict stay-at-home measures to slow the spread of the new coronavirus to 30.2 million. Unemployment at this scale hasn’t been recorded since the Great Depression, when the jobless rate peaked at 25 percent.

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According to a study by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, 22 percent of employers are considering revoking offers to members of the class of 2020.

Brenberg recommended that graduating college students should still make sure that they finish their final semester strong.

“We have a lot of the college seniors getting right to the end and when they hit the job market, one of the things that employers are going to ask them is, 'How do you deal with adversity? How did you handle your last semester when everything was disrupted?'” he noted. “You want to be able to tell a great story there that you thrived, that you finished well because that’s going to give employers confidence that you are somebody who can work in this environment.”

Brenberg also encouraged graduating seniors to continue to build relationships. He acknowledged that coffee meetings cannot take place currently, but noted that “you still have LinkedIn, you can still jump on a Zoom call with people.”

“It’s important to continue to pursue relationships and, remember a lot of the people that you’re going to be interviewing with came onto the job market after 9/11 or during the Great Recession," Brenberg added. "They’ve been through something like this. "They have some sympathy there. Use that to build relationships and make a connection that could translate to a job down the road."

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Brenberg also encouraged people to “be creative.”

“You've got to take control of what you can control," he said. "You can’t worry about the uncertainty. Do the things that are within your control.

Fox Business’ Megan Henney contributed to this report.