QU International grad faces challenge with U.S. job offer

By Jay Hammel

The last couple of months have not been easy for international students studying at U.S. universities.

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused complications for foreign students traveling back to their home country amidst all the restrictions looming around Covid-19.

The uncertainty has temporarily put graduating senior’s careers on halt as the nation is fighting against an invisible force.

Quincy University’s Ella Gobald is facing a current challenge with a job offer in the U.S. she may have to turn down.

Gobald transferred from Mineral Area College and was a member of the Quincy Women’s Basketball team for two seasons.

Gobald is from Perth, Australia and is facing a very tricky situation because of this pandemic.

Gobald wants to pursue a career in athletics, and has earned an opportunity to be an intern with the Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) upon graduation.

However, Gobald is facing some legal issues that may pause, delay, or completely terminate the opportunity she has.

“In order for me to work in the U.S. legally, I have to apply for OPT which is a 12-month program that every international student is eligible for after the completion of a degree,” Gobald said. “But in order to apply, you have to be in the U.S. and it has to be before your program’s end date, so as I was due to graduate May 8, my visa actually terminates after that.”

Gobald is seeking other possibilities as she tries to find a way to make her life-long stay in the U.S. into a reality.

“An alternative would be moving back to Australia which would probably be my last resort, but even then the job prospects in Australia really aren’t the avenue that I’m most interested in as we don’t have college athletics,” Gobald said. “I’d be interested in moving overseas, even if a job came up in Canada, I’d take it!”

In its response to Covid-19, Australia seems to be handling it quite well.

As of May 9, the country has 6,927 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and recorded 97 deaths from a population of 25 million people.

“The Pandemic is honestly crazy to me,” Gobald stated. “I think there is definitely something fishy going on in China…It is sad that it has affected so many people but I also think it’s made it clear who has savings accounts and who doesn’t for a crisis like this.”

Gobald has completed her coursework and ideally eyes to return to graduate school upon completing her hopeful internship with the GLVC.

Gobald wants to concentrate in marketing, which is what she earned her Bachelor of Science in at QU.

“Either way, I’d love to give back to the game of basketball because it’s provided me with many opportunities, so I’d love to spend my time in grad school as a GA coach for women’s basketball,” Gobald said.

The class of 2020 is now the class of Covid-19, and QU has delayed its commencement until fall.

Students who were preparing to graduate this spring are feeling an array of emotions as their college careers come to a peculiar end.

“I feel like I never had the closure to the end of my college days, but it’s for the safety of the older community that would have to be in attendance anyway so we have to do our bit for the community,” Gobald stated. “This current climate is bigger than us – Let’s just say I’d rather have no graduation ceremony than have one that is virtually online that’s for sure.”

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