Target job cuts hitting U students

Barry Lytton

Just one month after Maggie Schauer secured her first job out of college, her soon-to-be-employer called and told her the position no longer existed.
 
“I said, ‘So I don’t have a job then?’” she said. “And I started crying.”
 
Schauer, a recent University of Minnesota graduate, accepted a job with Target last November. But her position was eliminated when Target cut about 3,000 jobs and froze hiring last month. Now, the University and its students who had jobs lined up with the company are searching for what to do next.
 
For companies like Target that are looking for ways to improve their business models, job cuts are an attractive method for gainning capital, said Paul Vaaler,  Mooty Chair in Law and Business in the Carlson School of Management and the University’s Law School.
 
“There is a saying in retail that ‘expenses walk on two legs,’” he said. 
 
Schauer is just one of many University students who have been affected by Target’s layoffs.
 
While CSOM doesn’t track students’ employment or job losses, director of graduate career services Maggie Tomas said she has heard of Carlson graduates who have been impacted by the layoffs. 
 
Since Target announced it was cutting positions in March, she said, the school has set up multiple resume and career workshops to help students and alumni who had jobs with the company re-enter the job market.
 
The layoffs have also affected recent College of Liberal Arts graduates, said Paul Timmins, director of the college’s career and internship services. 
 
Around the time Schauer learned that her Target job had disappeared, Timmins said a human resources employee at the corporation called him and informed him of the upcoming cuts. 
 
While the layoffs have been taking place, Timmins said CLA career services hasn’t changed how it works with students.
 
“We always coach our students to do their homework and to do research on any one organization that they’re interested [in],” he said. “We are always trying to coach our students to cast a wide net.”
 
Target helped CLA organize a resume review event in February. Timmins said he expects the college to continue its work with the company, even if the corporation is no longer hiring.
 
Vaaler said the layoffs may not be over. He also said he expects more to come in the upcoming six months. 
 
He said hiring probably won’t start again until Target can prove its fiscal strength, which could be in the next three to five years.
 
Soon after Schauer heard that her Target position no longer existed, she said she stayed up until 5 a.m. one night and applied for other jobs. After a few days, she landed a similar position at a beauty products company.
 
“I was really lucky to be able to find a job so fast,” she said. “A lot of other people haven’t.”