The summer of 2020 will go down in history as a time when most people’s careers and lives were put on hold in one way or another because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many college students and recent graduates have had to postpone possible internships and job opportunities at least for the moment. But recent Keystone graduates Nick Martin, and Kristen Hlavaty and current student Nathaniel Jones have been able to enjoy a somewhat “normal” summer and forge ahead with their career plans during this unique time.
Nick, who obtained his bachelor of science degree in wildlife biology this spring, was fortunate to obtain a position with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services in Menomonee Falls, Wisc. and began his new job shortly after graduating.
“I feel really fortunate to be able to obtain a job in my field so quickly after graduation, especially this summer,” Nick said. “I especially like the fact that I’m working outdoors and getting some great experience that will help me as I continue my career.”
Nick credits his Keystone education in helping to get his career off to a great start.
“Dr. (Val) Titus and Dr. (Jerry) Skinner were really great professors and they helped prepare me for my first job,” Nick said.
Kristen, who graduated in June with a bachelor of science degree in biology, is getting great experience working as an emergency room technician at Wayne Memorial Hospital in Honesdale, Pa. A former member of Keystone’s women’s soccer team, Kristen will be attending Long Island University/Brooklyn in the fall to where she has enrolled in the physician’s assistant program.
She is especially grateful to Keystone faculty members Dr. Vicki Stanavitch and Dr. Michael Selig. Kristen admits that serving as an “essential” health care worker during the pandemic can be stressful but she also knows the experience is a valuable one.
“It’s been a really interesting summer,” Kristen said. “Certainly, I wish it was under better circumstances but I do feel being able to assist others during this critical time has its own special rewards.”
Nathaniel will be entering his senior year as an information technology major at Keystone and for the last three summers, including this one, he has worked in the IT office at Mountain View School District. While working as an essential worker this summer has always been easy, Nathaniel is gratified to continue a summer job that he really enjoys.
“I’ve worked at the school district each summer and I’m really glad to be able to be there again this year. It’s a great job and it will really help me after I graduate.”