Get a Job On Campus
Work Experience and Cash in Your Pocket
One way to earn a little money to defray your college expenses while accumulating work experience is to find a job on campus. Every school gives its students interesting opportunities in its own work force that can enhance your future resume while paying you for your time. Many colleges have career centers with websites where you can look for either Federal Work Study (FWS) jobs, which are a type of financial aid, or regular on-campus employment listings, which are open to all students.
Often colleges encourage departments to hire students, and may even tailor their work hours to your classes, which is a great help in juggling a busy schedule. Some jobs even give you time to study while you work, as you'll know if you've ever passed the front desk of a university library.
Benefits of a Campus Job
Getting a job on your college campus carries with it a few benefits:
- No distance to travel means you can treat your work hours as though they were another class, allowing a few minutes of travel time between the two but not otherwise disrupting your day. It's the ultimate convenience in working.
- A way to get involved in campus life: Student clubs aren't for everyone. For students who are short on both cash and time, finding a job on campus provides yet another way to get involved in school activities and to be an active member of your academic community.
- Pursue your interests and goals: In some cases, you may be able to work in the department belonging to your major, as a receptionist or clerical assistant. Check with the department head or your advisor for any job opening of that sort, because you cannot overestimate the importance of making friendly contacts with your professors and other staff members. Contacts like that can further your academic career enormously.
Common Types of On-Campus Jobs
Most college and university campuses feature common types of jobs usually available to students. Here are some sample job listings pulled from university websites: Intramural Sports Official, Student Web Editor, Student Caller (during fundraising efforts), Office Operations Assistant, Assistant Teacher (preschool), and Bull Crew Worker (manual labor).
You can see how diverse those options are, and those are but a small fraction of the available slots. You'll easily find some work that suits your talents and interests.
Tutoring: If you are well versed in a particular field, why not offer your services on campus as a tutor? Tutoring assignments are open in many departments and through the library. Also check with your campus Academic Assistance office. Tutors have an edge: they get to use their skills, meet and help their peers and earn cash.
Some universities even have special programs to ensure student athletes stay abreast of their studies, or to ease the class and homework routine for disabled students. The attraction of a tutoring position can be your ability to give something of yourself during your paid work.
Teaching Assistant: Modern language departments often have these positions open, and if you're reasonably fluent in a language you can assist others who are less fortunate, and obtain classroom experience that benefits you. Or theater arts assistants may be required to work in clinical scenarios used to educate future health care workers.
Campus Resident Advisor
Another way to connect with your classmates while making some money is to serve as a resident advisor. You will live in the dormitories alongside other students and answer their questions, show them around campus and make sure they abide by the rules. The keys to success as an RA are visibility, participation in other students' activities and ability to interact with others in a productive manner. RAs are not unlike camp counselors for college dormitories.
Food service positions may seem lackluster, but as is true of most work your attitude and enthusiasm can make all the difference. The advantage of preparing food is that it's a skill you will always find useful, and working in a professional kitchen environment is a popular profession right now, with a certain cachet. And few college students can afford to refuse any potential cash income.
Think of it this way: foodservice is a great preparatory "course" for real life, and the pay on campus is usually a fair reward for your effort.
If you've qualified for a Federal Work Study (FWS) program, you'll be eligible to work a certain number of hours per week in an on-campus job, but your earnings will be dedicated to your education expenses. Work Study and on-campus grant jobs vary in duties and required experience.
Jobs are everywhere on college campuses for any student willing to spend a little time looking for an appropriate fit. If you want a little extra cash in your pocket before it comes time to pay another tuition bill, start hunting for employment now. Since any job you can obtain becomes material to fatten your resume, an on-campus job can be a source of both current and future benefits for you.