On-campus jobs are ideal for students because they are often part-time jobs with a school-friendly schedule. They are also a great way to network with administrators, faculty, and staff on campus. So, if you need to make money while in college, consider on-campus jobs.
Here are some tips on on-campus jobs based on my experience in the mailroom of my campus.
1. How to find on-campus jobs
Many universities list various job opportunities that are available on campus on their websites, but some jobs may only be available through word of mouth or by writing directly to a department head. I found that to be true in the case of my university where many on-campus jobs were not posted directly on my university’s website, but were found through word-of-mouth or obtained through emailing a department directly. For instance, I found my job when I visited the mailroom to get a package during my freshman year and there were signs posted for the job opportunity.
If you are interested in working in a specific department, be sure to use LinkedIn or the university’s directory to find an administrator you can contact directly. You should start researching and applying as close to the beginning of the semester as possible, so you increase your chances of getting a job.
Some on-campus jobs are very selective and require on-campus interviews, while some jobs are given to students who reach out to obtain a position. Be sure to research what positions are available to you. If you line up an interview, review proper interview etiquette and dress code.
2. What’s the best on-campus job for you?
There are a variety of jobs available on campus, including teaching assistants, dining services, research assistants, tutors, library assistants, administrative assistants, phone center callers, and so much more! In addition to these positions, you may find an on-campus job that is similar to a paid internship, which can be a major resume booster.
Be sure to know what kind of positions you are seeking. Are you looking for a desk job or a barista position? Which one would suit you better? Don’t be shy! Talk to students already working in those positions about job requirements, the workplace, and the job itself.
3. What are the advantages of on-campus jobs?
While some students may dread the idea of going to work, working on campus has many perks that students may often forget. Working on campus usually means that you have a very short commute to your workplace from either class or your residence. In addition, some on-campus jobs may bring certain perks, such as a discount from working at the university bookstore, or a free meal from working in the dining hall.
On-campus jobs also generally offer flexible hours, and supervisors are more understanding if you need to drop a shift last minute. Again, I’m speaking from experience. On average, I worked about 10 hours per week, working 2-3 hour shifts 3-4 times a week, depending on the semester. More often than not, the mailroom was not always busy during my shift, so I got to do homework and study for exams whenever available. Every semester, my boss would ask all the student employees to send the times we were available to work so that the students’ work schedule never interrupts their class schedule. I have worked for almost four years in the mailroom, and my boss has always been understanding about my schedule.
4. Are on-campus jobs better than off-campus jobs?
The answer may depend on the location of your college. Students who attend universities in large cities where there are more opportunities find that sometimes off-campus jobs pay higher wages than their university. Some students prefer to work on campus, as it is easy to commute and the hours are more flexible. If you are interested in working off campus, be sure to let your managers know that you are a college student and can’t work certain hours because school should be your priority.
Getting an on-campus job is a great way to get work experience while making money on campus. Between studying, class, and extracurriculars, most students find space in their schedules to work. Before getting an on-campus job, do your research and find out if the job you want is the right fit for you and your soon-to-be-busy college schedule.
Vanessa Sewell is studying Economics and Communications at Boston College. She is from Bronx, NY. Vanessa has worked on topics related to lifestyle, fashion, culture, and education during her time at Boston College. During her free time, she can be found playing piano and guitar or jamming to Spotify.