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Career Corner
Anxious about prospects?

Christopher Barton (The Commercial Appeal) -- While the labor market remains tight in some sectors of the economy, many soon-to-be graduates are anxious about their prospects for good jobs this summer.

For Melissa Thompson, a senior majoring in business administration and marketing at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, the future looks much bleaker than a year ago. She will graduate May 12.

"With the recent cutbacks announced by many companies, it has definitely been a reality check," Thompson said.

Last summer, she did an internship with Alltel Corp. in Little Rock, an information technology company. But the company in February announced it would cut 1,000 jobs from its 27,000-employee workforce.

"I was told last August when I left that I had a job, and all I had to do was make a phone call, but all that has changed now," she said.

Thompson, who distributed her resume to various recruiters, said although she wants an entry-level position in a corporate or home office, she could end up with a sales or assistant manager job in a store.

"The slowing economy does frighten me, and there is a lot more competition for jobs," said Manda Fly, a junior at Union University in Jackson, Tenn.

Fly, an economics and finance major, said she has had two interviews for an internship, but is concerned about this summer and her prospects when she graduates in 2002.

"I believe there were more jobs available a year ago, but with all the dot-coms failing, I think that has put a crunch on the job market," she said.

Amber Eskridge, a senior at Union University with a major in accounting, is more optimistic she will get a good job when she graduates and moves to Fort Smith, Ark., in December.

"I think everything will turn back around -- at least I hope so, because my fiance is a stockbroker," she said.

Anne Foote Collins, a recruiter for Delray Beach, Fla.-based Office Depot, said she was in Memphis to recruit for the company's management training program.

Despite the perceived slowdown in the economy, the company, which has more than 860 superstores in the United States and Canada, is still opening new stores and needs managers, she said.

(c) 2001 The Commercial Appeal

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