SFU grad finds success amidst economic uncertainty

October 22, 2020

The graduating class of 2020 enters one of the toughest job markets in decades. But new grads, like Michael Koziura, are finding ways to succeed despite economic uncertainty.

Months before graduating, Koziura lined up his first full-time job. He secured a position with the District of North Vancouver as part of their trail crew to help maintain the North Shore mountains. 

“I was really excited,” says Koziura, who graduates this week with a bachelor of environment in resource and environmental management. “I love being outdoors, hiking, fishing, camping and backpacking, so the position was a great fit with my interests and passions.”

But once the pandemic hit, many organizations entered a hiring freeze. Job offers were rescinded or postponed indefinitely. Koziura says his position with the District fell through. 

“That was tough,” he says. “It’s unfortunate, but every generation has endured hardships. We continue to move forward.”

Koziura spent his summer semester finishing his classes while searching for job opportunities that aligned with his strengths, knowledge, and passion for the outdoors. After months of searching, Koziura still hadn’t found a position that suited his skill set. 

“I was definitely starting to feel the pressure,” says Koziura. But he says his time at SFU helped him become more independent, adaptable and resourceful. Graduating into a recession is challenging, but Koziura says he felt prepared and ready to tackle obstacles.  

Soon after, Koziura landed a job with the Vancouver Park Board in the horticulture department. He helps maintain the city’s green space by planting, pruning and trimming vegetation. 

“I’m super grateful,” says Koziura. “It wasn’t easy, but opportunities will come. Patience and persistence are key right now.”