By: Megan Ashbrenner
Heading to college for the first time is an exhilarating, but scary experience. Many people find themselves wondering, “What if I don’t fit in?” and, “How do I make friends in a place where I don’t know anyone?”
The good news is almost everyone feels this way when they go to a new school or a new city. The great news is there is a solution! One of the best ways to become more organized and meet new people is to get an on-campus job.
Having an on-campus job helps you become more organized and forces you to prioritize your other activities accordingly. For many students, the adjustment to college is a difficult one, especially when learning how to study on your own time. Working while going to school is a great way to figure out how to plan your time in a way that lets you learn and accomplish your work most efficiently. Some employers even let you do your work in any downtime you may have between helping other students.
Where to look
On-campus jobs vary from location to location. Some schools only have a few to offer, others have various departments and many different student staff positions within those departments. For example, a lot of university stores and restaurants hire students to staff their kitchens. Housing and support services are also great places to look-places like admissions, financial aid and the individual college offices usually look for students to do administrative work. This could be anything from scheduling appointments and meetings to handling applications and tuition checks.
Find it Online
Most schools have a section on their website for student employment; if searching for “student employment” doesn’t work, try searching ‘auxiliary.’ There, you will likely find an online application to fill out. Make sure you fill out every section to the best of your ability, and if they ask for something extra (like a resume or short answer responses), make sure you do them! Most positions will not be able to take you into consideration if you do not follow the application instructions exactly.
Ace the Interview
When it comes to interviewing for a student staff position, treat it as what it is: a real interview, for a real job. If you go into the interview and say, “I just want a job,” “I want to work here because it’s convenient for me,” or “I need to make some money,” you won’t make the great first impression you’re striving for. Instead, talk about wanting to be involved in your campus community, meeting new people and making the best experience you can for your peers. If you are asked for an example, make sure you give an example! And though it may seem like common sense, answer the questions. It’s the quality of the answer that matters, not the length. Of course, everyone gets nervous and may ramble every now and then, but try to not go off on a tangent with your response.
On-campus jobs tend to be very flexible about your schedule, and as an added bonus, you are working with other students who understand what you’re going through. This will turn some of your co-workers into some of your best friends, which is almost as good as having the job in the first place.