The Coggins (for whom the College of Business is named) provided a gift of $100,000 which will be used for construction costs and technology for the facility. The PSS World Medical gift is also for $100,000. Of that amount, $50,000 will go toward establishing a Dean’s Endowed Professorship in Career Management and $50,000 will go toward the Career Management Center. State matching funds will boost the overall value of the two gifts to $300,000.
“We are honored by the generous commitment of the Coggins and PSS World Medical to help fund this important new initiative,” said Dr. John P. McAllister, dean of the Coggin College of Business. “When established, the center will help us to increase important connections with the business community and valued alumni.”
The Career Management Center will have interview rooms and staff offices. Movable, sound-dampening walls will offer flexibility in arranging training and interview space. The installation of computer hardware and software will allow video interviewing for critique purposes, videoconferencing, data collection, and resume writing sessions. A director for the center will also be hired.
“Blanche and I are honored to continue our commitment to the college with this gift,” said Luther Coggin. “Our investment in this program is truly about the future for Coggin College students embarking on their careers. The Career Management Center will offer tools to help students and alumni as they build their careers.”
David A. Smith, CEO of PSS World Medical and a Coggin College alumnus, agrees. “PSS World Medical is proud to support this crucial project. Professional training and placement of Coggin College students and alumni is good for the First Coast and our students.”
For several years, business students and alumni have indicated a need for more direct job placement assistance and support in securing internships. Having a career center dedicated to working exclusively with business students and the companies looking to recruit them will benefit the students and the corporate community.
“Placement has been relieved somewhat due to assistance from faculty, clubs and networking,” said Najoua Giuma, a senior accounting major. “But with a comprehensive center at the college, our experiences will be greatly enhanced. This project should better enable students to develop relationships with the finest organizations and companies.” Maureen Donnelly, an M.B.A. student and CSX intern, sees the individual attention the Career Management Center will provide as a real plus. “UNF Career Services is great, and they’ve helped me, but it can only do so much university-wide,” Donnelly said. “We need personalized attention at the college level, specific to the needs of the corporate community.”
The Career Management Center will open this fall on the second floor of the Coggin College. Because of a dramatic increase in student enrollment, the University’s Master Plan calls for doubling the size of the existing business school in the next five-to-seven years. The Career Management Center will ultimately be moved into the new facilities.