Despite the losses, the COVID-19 pandemic also created opportunity for one recent SPU grad.
When Steven Kotansky ’22 came to SPU in 2019, he looked forward to living in the dorms, experiencing an All Hall Ball, and getting to know students and professors in his majors.
But after only six months of living on-campus, the pandemic moved his college experience to at-home and online.
“I lost a chance to have the traditional college experience and the potential new friendships, connections, and memories that would have come with it,” he said. Kotansky double-majored in economics and politics, philosophy, and economics
Despite the loss, the pandemic also created opportunity.
After taking an internship class at SPU, Kotansky reached out to business analytics professionals on Twitter and LinkedIn.
“Prior to COVID, maybe 5% of the time they would respond, but it went up to 30%,” he said. “People were stuck at home. They didn’t have anything else to do.”
Kotansky connected with a recruiter at Liberty Mutual, which led to a remote data analytics internship that ended up lasting for a year and a half.
Every morning, he would roll out of bed and jump on the computer at 7 a.m. to connect with his Liberty Mutual colleagues in Boston and the United Kingdom. Then, at 10:30 a.m. he would begin his SPU classes. In June, Kotansky graduated and joined Liberty Mutual full time in their Seattle office.
“Career-wise the pandemic really worked out for me,” Kotansky said. “It also gave me time to learn new technical skills to make me more employable.”