Career Center feels the wrath of recession

In the C.C. Cunningham Career Center, five workers have taken on the workload of 13 people because of university budget cuts.

The resignation of the internship coordinator has led employees to have to fill in empty space.

Delores Dean, the director of the career center, said the previous internship coordinator resigned from the position over the summer.  The position has been removed as a result of the recent resignation and the position’s duties have been redistributed throughout the department.

According to Dean, the school-wide internship coordinator is responsible for informing and setting up students with internship opportunities.

 The criteria for the internship coordinator changed because the center will no longer have a full-time staff member for at the position.

“We (are) in the process to replace the coordinator with a work study graduate student or recent graduate for 30 or more hours,” Dean said.

Employees in the career center have been taking on more responsibilities to better serve students.

Melony Washington, the employee relations coordinator, is affected by the loss of personnel.  “It has increased my work load a bit,” she said.

Washington said the responsibility of the internship coordinator was to focus primarily on seeking nationwide internship and employment opportunities for students.  Washington now has that responsibility.

The Career Center has had many changes in personnel within the last year, including a surprising reduction in staff.

“We are down to a full-time staff of five,” Washington said.

The Career Center downsized 13 positions since Washington has been working there.

“We had nine full-time employees, five graduate assistants and eight OPS workers,” Washington said.  “We now have two graduate assistants and two OPS workers.”

In this department, every employee that leaves means a position lost.  Washington said it is because of the university budget cuts and the recession.

The recession also affected the amount of companies recruiting from the career fair.

“Our numbers dropped dramatically,” Washington said.

Washington said the Career Expo usually has 200 to 250 companies involved.  This year, however, the Expo had fewer than 100.

The Career Center still has a range of jobs and internship opportunities for students and alumni.

Kim Williams, a 25-year-old FAMU alumna from Miami, returned to attend the Career Expo for the third time.  “Yeah, it has definitely gotten smaller,” Williams said.  She noticed only three companies she had not seen before.

Despite the drop in recruiters, Williams felt positively about her expo experience. 
Williams also worked with the Career Center’s advisors and said they continued to help her throughout the process.
“I think it was better than the last two,” Williams said.  “Everyone has been friendly and helpful.”

The cuts to the Career Center and the Career Expo proved how the current economic instability is affecting every aspect of society even education and possible employment.