In January 2020, Randa Hinton’s (’09) pastor encouraged her to pray big prayers. On the cusp of graduating with her master’s in communication from USC, Hinton’s career search was about to begin. In her prayer journal, she wrote everything from the type of job she wanted to the exact salary to how she wanted to be hired by June. It was the most specific prayer she’d ever prayed.

But then came the coronavirus.

She was the first grandchild in her family to graduate with a master’s — and she wouldn’t be graduating in person. All her career plans and prayers were thrown to the wind because no one was hiring. All the studios she wanted to work for were closed.

But Hinton is a realist.

“There was just one night, maybe three weeks into quarantine, I was watching a movie,” she said. “And it was 3 o’clock in the morning and I just was like — I should start a podcast.”

Hinton had heard people comparing the coronavirus pandemic to the Great Recession in 2008, but in her mind that was a recession — this was a pandemic. People weren’t talking about what it was like to graduate during Covid-19 and weren’t creating resources for young job-seekers. For Randa, this was an opportunity. She called her friend and fellow USC graduate Anika Fisch and asked if she would co-host the podcast. Within a month, they started.

Their podcast, Opportunity Unknown, was created with two goals in mind. First, Hinton wanted to provide the class of 2020 and early career professionals with resources on how to find jobs in the pandemic. Second, she and Anika wanted to find jobs and get hired themselves.

They began by creating a document of topics they could explore, from interviewing to networking to professional confidence. Then they found experts they could reach out to and bring on the show.

“Because we have to create content every week and we had to have something to talk about, it forced us to do all the things we were talking about in our own job search,” Hinton said. “So we talk a lot about informational interviews. And I did 150 between the beginning of April and the end of August. ... And then we talk about resumes, so that made us redo our resumes.”

In addition to this, they had to create an entire brand, including a website and a presence on LinkedIn, Twitter, TikTok, Instagram and Facebook.

“I just really thought podcasts were not hard,” Hinton said. “They are. I’ve got to give credit to people who do them because they’re way more work than I thought they would be.”

But all that work has paid off. Not only have they successfully created a podcast, but as of episode 23, both hosts have been hired. Hinton now does marketing for NVIDIA. But don’t worry — their podcast isn’t stopping any time soon.

“I’ve been praying these prayers since January 7th,” Hinton said. “And it’s so cool now that I’m on this side of it. I often look at that journal because every single prayer that is in that journal, he answered. And he answered it way more than I thought he would.”

Her big piece of advice? Be patient and ask for help.

“I would definitely say be patient with God because he’s doing something that we don’t understand and we may not see right now,” she said.

Opportunity is out there, even if, at the moment, it is unknown.