Working while in college is a necessary reality for most students. But rather than working off campus in a retail gig or spending your time answering phones at an impersonal corporation, consider getting a job on campus. Even the most mundane assignments in the interior operations of your school can give you better connections throughout the university, a clearer understanding of how the school works, and insight into a number of different fields. Student jobs also typically allow you to do homework on the clock and provide very flexible schedules.
So, how does one go about acquiring these jobs? Sometimes it’s as simple as finding a flyer on campus or answering an ad in the student newspaper. Other times, it takes a little more effort. If you don’t find openings for a student job of your liking, try a few of these steps to secure a beneficial and engaging career at your university.
• If you’ve declared a major, contact the main office to your department. Tell them you’re a student there and are interested in employment within their offices. Accompany this with a well-written cover letter, solid resume, and request for an appointment, and at worst, you’ll walk away with them knowing your name and keeping you in mind for future openings.
• Have a favorite professor? Approach him or her to see about working on any current projects for that individual or perhaps one of their colleagues. Many faculty members have grants that provide funding for student assistance, so securing a job in this way is certainly a possibility.
• Have a specific field in mind, like public relations, human resources, or business administration? Find the university office that correlates the field you’re interested in and contact them. Call the office to see if they have any openings, but don’t stop there. Email a request for a meeting with one of the managers, telling them your experience and what you can offer their office.
If none of the above work, try the same approach on different offices throughout campus. Remember that a university is dependent on student assistance, so there’s always an opportunity out there – you just have to find it.