Inside The Mind Of A Hustler: Finding A Job During A Pandemic

By Camila Encomendero, BA Fashion Journalism

It is no secret that COVID-19 has pretty much turned everybody’s life upside down, and the only certain thing right now is that unemployment claims skyrocketed in the last months. Back in April, we found out through the U.S Department of Labor that 6.6 million people filed for unemployment insurance, so it’s accurate to say that job hunting right now feels uncharted territory.

As a recent graduate who is more than ready to enter the workforce or looking to take their professional career to the next level, it is essential to remain positive and constant in your job search no matter how scary it seems. Instead, use this time to be strategic and update your resume, just like recent BFA Fashion Marketing graduate Sofia Ashri did before landing her dream job at Poshmark.

Born in San Jose, CA, her journey took her from Biochemistry to Fashion when she realized formulas didn’t do it for her. Her passion for clothes led her to enroll in the Fashion Design program; however, her creative and analytical skills, along with being an exceptional salesperson pushed her to switch careers to Fashion Marketing.

Right before the end of the Spring semester, non-essential businesses were already closing due to the pandemic, so her expectations of getting a job right after school were pretty low. Her optimism and self-determination pushed her to keep applying despite the circumstances and the many “We won’t be moving forward with your application, but thank you for your interest,” emails. Due to the difficult times, she was also considering jobs that weren’t directly related to her major or any side job since things weren’t getting any better, particularly in fashion.

After applying to countless jobs on LinkedIn, she finally landed the opportunity to interview with hiring managers at Poshmark. She laughed at the fact that she was very skeptical about applying in the first place, but thought, “what’s the worst that could happen?” Her fear of being rejected didn’t stop her from applying to all types of jobs, even those she thought she would never get. After three rounds of interviews, she was surprised to hear the news when she was finally offered the position of Operations Associate focused on Marketplace Authentication. In this new position, her role is to authenticate merchandise such as luxury items to check if they are replicas or not.

During these unprecedented times, one can only wonder how quickly the job market will bounce back. Ashri highlights the importance of being optimistic and open to job opportunities outside your typical experience, but that can still relate to your organizational and project management skills. Never underestimate volunteer opportunities or industries in high demand right now because that might open new doors.

While it is true that we’ve been immersed in an entirely virtual space where most jobs are done online, this should serve as motivation to prepare for virtual interviews and update your entire online presence in the most professional way possible. “I was pretty nervous during my interview process, especially with everything that was going on, but I chose to be honest and focus on showing why I was the perfect fit for the role,” Ashri shares. “Once I started talking, it felt more like a conversation with a friend than anything else.”