Whether they receive that coveted work-study grant or need to earn a little extra money to pay the bills, many students decide to get on-campus jobs. Once you’ve made that decision, the hunt begins. There are usually a wide variety of work opportunities on campus, with varying hours and levels of commitment. What job is right for you? Read on to get some ideas.
Students can work in a variety of positions in the athletic department, from being team managers to security or ticket-takers at games. These jobs often have a flexible schedule, with seasons of busyness alternating with weeks of down time. Students who work with teams may receive benefits such as getting to travel to tournaments or attend games for free.
I may be partial: I work at the information desk in the student center at my university. It is seriously so much fun. This job is perfect for those who prefer sitting most of the time. Sometimes it does get boring, but you get to see a wide variety of people and every day is different. Those of us who work there usually know everything that’s going on around campus. If you enjoy customer service and having a job with downtime (hint: sometimes you can even do homework or read), try getting a similar desk job at your university.
Students who excel at sales might look for jobs at their school’s alumni calling center. Most schools hire students to call alumni and either conduct surveys or solicit donations. This job has a few benefits: you get to talk to people all night, but it’s on the phone so you can wear whatever you want! Often, the job also comes with perks such a commission system. This is also typically a student position with evening hours, so it fits nicely with a class schedule.
It takes a special kind of person to be a school mascot…but there can be serious pros for those who do. UConn and Brigham Young University, among others, offer scholarships to students interested in being the mascot. Other perks include athletic gear or travel opportunities. You have to be very energetic and usually athletic to be a mascot. Often, schools even hire a small team of people to act as mascots on different nights and keep it a secret who is in the suit, so you can be part of an elite and secretive group on campus. Many events are at night or on the weekends, also making this a potentially convenient job for busy students.
Departments like student life, campus activities, campus recreation, academic offices and the career center hire students to work in administrative positions. These give you real-world office experience, may include the opportunity to work with software that will boost your resume, and could include some exciting events as well.
For students who are strong in a particular subject, tutoring on-campus can be an attractive and well-paid job that might even translate into side work as well. Writing centers, language or culture centers and libraries are often interested in hiring students to work with other students or do administrative tasks.
Peer mentor jobs, such as in career services, with the freshman center, residence life, student wellness, or orientation leaders, are great for students who are interested in leadership and enjoy working with people. A lot of the time these jobs are paid in stipends and scholarships, meaning that they might have a lower hourly wage, but they are still great ways to enhance your resume, connect with students and administrators, and make a little bit of money.
A similar job involving even more mentorship also involves service: working as a teacher with underserved students in a program such as Jumpstart or America Reads, America Serves. Many schools partner with these organizations, and those who participate get paid for their time and may even earn an Americorps grant.
For STEM majors, research opportunities are a fantastic way to earn money for books, while spending time working closely with faculty and learning how to work in a lab hands-on.
Take a few minutes to think about what kind of job you would enjoy. Something that applies to your future career? Try research, tutoring, or counseling. Something that allows you to multitask? Try working in an office. Something with a flexible and sporadic schedule? Consider applying to work in athletics, be a mascot or call alumni. Don’t apply for jobs you know you won’t like unless you absolutely have to; just like in the post-grad world, it’s important to enjoy what you do.