The loss of two sporting good stores is being felt by the Muncie community, but for a small group of Ball State students, it's also going to impact their paychecks.
Dunham's Sports closed its doors for the last time at its Bethel Avenue location on Aug. 7, but MC Sports at the Muncie Mall will be completely shut down by the end of January.
Bennett Brueggemann, a junior accounting major, is currently working at MC Sports in the Muncie Mall. He said that although the store is facing its final days, he has noticed more customer traffic in the local business.
“Before we knew we were closing, it was kind of a slower work day,” Brueggemann said. “Now that it’s been closing, it’s been attracting a lot of customers.”
Brueggemann, who has been working at MC Sports since May, was not completely surprised when the closing was announced.
“Since I started working there, I’ve heard rumors,” Brueggemann said. “When you hear enough rumors, they start sounding true.”
James Mitchell, the Career Center associate director, said he wants students – especially those who may lose jobs due to local business closures – to understand that there are many job opportunities for students, whether on or off campus.
“Sometimes, things happen,” Mitchell said. “The economy changes or a company changes or a need changes… there are other opportunities out there.”
Mitchell said that some students will prefer to work on campus, but for those who don't, the Career Center is still able to provide assistance.
“We really just want to provide as many opportunities as we can to students to help them,” Mitchell said. “We’re thankful that the community welcomes students ... into the jobs that are out there.”
The Career Center is also working on a map that students can check to see if a business is on a bus route, Mitchell said. The Career Center hopes this new technology can aid students who still wish to work off-campus.
In the meantime, other career-related resources are available to Ball State students looking for jobs.
“Students who might be feeling the crunch of finding a job … should come in and meet with their career coach or come to our walk-in hours,” Mitchell said. “We can help them through that process.”
Until MC Sports sees its final day, though, Brueggemann said he will remain at MC Sports, faithful to his current position.
“We have another five months of business ahead of us,” Brueggemann said. “I’m not worried about looking for a job yet. If and when I am, I know I can find other good employment opportunities."