In a recent blog post titled Five Benefits to Working In College Besides Just Making Money, I discussed some of the ways that a job during college helps students hone skills, develop work experience and make connections. If you thought those sounded like benefits you would want to take advantage of, you might be asking yourself – how do I find those jobs? A few suggestions.
First, it is important to understand that there are different categories when it comes to campus employment.
1) On Campus Jobs:
These are jobs that are on your college campus and are paid through either hourly wages or stipends. These types of jobs provide opportunities to network with the campus community, staff and faculty. On campus jobs are quite convenient as your workplace will be in close proximity to where you take classes. On campus jobs are also great because the employer knows you are a student and is aware of your student schedule. They are often more likely to be understanding when it is time for school breaks, exams, or when you have a big project due. You can typically find on campus job listings through the campus student employment office or career services.
2) Off Campus Jobs:
These are jobs that are off campus that do not have an association with your college. While off-campus jobs may pay more and have a wider variety of available hours, you may be trading those for a lack of convenience, flexibility, and understanding during school breaks. Since off-campus jobs are not affiliated with the university these jobs may require a bit more digging. Sometimes, campuses have an off campus student services office that can provide suggested listings for you and often university career centers may have online job listings from the area. However, you will likely also want to consult outside resources like newspapers or job fairs.
3) Work Study Jobs:
The Federal Work Study program is a form of need based financial aid which subsidizes student wages. Students who are awarded Federal Work Study awards are eligible for certain campus jobs. In most cases, eligibility for work study does not guarantee students a job, they still have to apply and be accepted for the position. Typically, to find these jobs you will want to do two things. First, you will want to find out if you are eligible by contacting the Financial Aid Office at your college. Second, many colleges offer a student employment office or a career services office where you can view or receive listings and postings for open work-study positions. A majority of work study jobs are on campus although some colleges have arrangements for off campus work study that are pre-approved at local agencies so it is worth asking.
As I have mentioned in previous posts, working is a commitment and as a student you will be very busy. Be honest with yourself and your employer about what you can handle when it comes to number of hours worked. You want to make sure that you are able to be successful inside and outside the classroom.