Hey all,

Recently, I gained a lot more on-campus federal work study jobs that, together, give me pretty good hours for a week. I am currently working 3 jobs: Whitman’s theater house manager, Whitman’s gym desk worker, and Whitman’s recycling program recycler. Since I’m incorporated into the campus employment world, I thought I would share tips I’ve learned so far.

  1. Beginning of the semester is always busy for everyone involved. Mostly first years have the most crazy times free, especially with mandatory orientation. A lot of colleges do a good job at funneling incoming students through a campus job fair of some kind, Whitman does the same. Make sure to attend it, get connected with potential supervisors.
  2. In my experience, I had trouble getting a job my first and second year. I went to the job fair and reached out, however, the pool was either enormous or specialty (like WFR training for a camping program).
  3. Don’t fret too much, a lot of on-campus reserve or restrict the hiring pool to first years for an amount of time before the position is considered for upperclassmen.
  4. Applications are pouring into every campus office and bosses are happy with heaping baskets of potential new hires. But a huge factor that dictates the size of the applicant pool is how many people are still of staff after graduating seniors leave their positions and how many upperclassmen are advancing with their positions.
  5. The turnover rate for campus jobs is very high, starting early is the best move to consider if you are sure of your capability to handle employment accompanied by being completely new to a college community and expectations.
  6. Being persistent with resumes is somewhat helpful–I’d consider emailing with the bosses first to introduce yourself and  put it out there that you are inquiring about open positions available. They may keep you in mind for the next round of semester hiring.
  7. Shifts with work study jobs are anywhere from 1-4 hours at a time usually twice a week. The 1 hour jobs are the most sought after; why? They are nice for a busy class schedule. You can have multiple 1 hour jobs and that could help add up hours…Jobs that fall to 1-hour shifts are usually a heavy supervisory decision to increase the applicant pool or cut down hours of operation. A friend of mine who works at the campus bike shop had her hours cut from 2 to 1 but her shifts per week increased only by 1 from an original 2 shifts/week. So she lost an hour per week. Whitman is a tiny college, though. Campus politics are known to all.
  8. There are people whose job it is to guide you in totally transforming your resumes. At Whitman, it’s known as the Student Engagement Center and there, the staff provides resumes help, internship opportunities, job finding help, cover letter advice–just a plethora of resources. Find out what this program is at your perspective college and use them!
  9. College jobs provide some good socializing for a healthy, involved college student. It is easy to fall into groups of friends and not push to interact with others. Co-workers are a great platform for extending your social circle.

I hope this helps with cooling any nerves caused from entering the college job pool. Be friendly towards bosses because they are used to working with college aged students; I joke with mine all the time! But she also understands that I’m a respectful and diligent employee because I give all my effort in my tasks and problem solve with confidence.

Have a good one,