December 14th, 2010
Given the time most college students devote to their studies and partying, finding a decent job that fits somewhere in between can be a difficult task. The best way to conveniently make a buck is to secure a campus job. Why commute across town when you can work minutes away from your dorm or apartment? Depending on the size of your school, there may be a wide variety of job opportunities. So if you look hard enough, you might be able to find one that’s actually worth more than just a paycheck.
When looking for a campus job, start by browsing your school’s career services site, where some schools will post details of openings. The next step is to directly seek out locations on campus that you know are staffed by students, such as the student union, bookstore, library and recreation center. Ask for applications and discuss prospective jobs with managers on duty. It’s also a good idea to look in different departments throughout campus. For example, if you’re a print journalism major, you could write for the school paper that’s operated by the department of mass communications. It’s possible to find a job that won’t require mindless work and will serve as a resume booster. Even if you work as just an office aid in your major’s department, you could cultivate relationships that’ll pay off in the future when you’re looking for a job or need references. Or if you want a job that’s immediately rewarding, you could tutor your fellow students, helping them achieve high scores in subjects with which they previously struggled.
The best way to get a campus job is through Work-Study, which is a federal program that provides funds to students through part-time employment. Roughly 3,400 institutions participate in the program nationwide, and they determine how much money their students receive based on the data they obtain during the federal financial aid application process — filling out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is required. Factors such as the student’s income, their family’s income, and their household size are taken into consideration. Preference is typically given to students in the Work-Study program because the school has promised to help them out.
Another benefit of working on campus is that you get to constantly be in the hub of activity. You get to meet new people and make friends with fellow students. It’s not like your typical depressing job at the local department or grocery store, where you’re treated as a rented mule. In fact, you could say that working a campus job enhances the college experience.