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Why You Should Consider an On-Campus Job

Jul 07, 2011

Working part-time while pursuing a degree full-time is necessary for many students to make ends meet. Choosing to work on campus comes with a variety of benefits, including flexible schedules and competitive pay and if you live on or near campus, you don't even need a car to get to work!

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By Jessica Lyons

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On-Campus Employment

Full-time students looking for work might want to consider finding a job on campus. Some of these jobs are considered work study and students must receive a grant from financial aid to be eligible. Others fall under the non-work study category and are open to students who did not receive a work study grant. In addition to being a full-time student in good academic standing, you might need to complete a work authorization application and show proof that you are eligible to work. Frequently schools limit students to working 20 hours a week during the actual semesters, although sometimes they can work increased hours during vacations.

You could be able to find work in a variety of areas. For instance, just some of the departments where students at the University of Houston can seek employment are admissions, athletics, the bookstore, campus activities, the copy center or the library. You should look into your options as soon as possible before all of your top choices are filled.

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The Benefits

There are a few reasons why working on campus could be your best option. First of all, your employers understands that you're a student with a sometimes complicated scheduled, so they're more likely to work around your classes. Although the typical employer might not let you work for a couple hours at a time in between classes, an on-campus employer will more likely be okay with it.

Additionally, your campus employer will be more understanding that your studies come first. If you need to take time off to study for an exam or switch your hours around one week to accommodate a class trip, it will be easier for you to do so when working for a member of your school community.

This is also a way to meet more people on campus while having something to put on your resume. You might be able to build connections that could give you references later on or even give you a job after you graduate. If you're a sports management major working in the athletic department, you'll have your foot in the door should there be an opening after you've earned your degree.

Working on campus also means a much easier time actually getting to your job. Instead of wasting valuable time driving to a different location and having to look for parking or trying to navigate a new city's public transportation system, you can just walk from your class to your job. When it's already difficult to squeeze in working hours, you don't want to have to factor in a commute when you don't have to.

How to Make the Most of Your Job

To be successful at your on-campus job, you first and foremost have to treat it like any other job. Don't let the flexibility and fact that it's part of the university trick you into thinking you don't have to take it seriously. You still have to show up on time, call your employers if you're sick and can't make it, dress appropriately, complete your tasks and be respectful.

As you begin your new job, take the time to sit down with your supervisor and find out exactly what's expected of you. This could include dress codes, your responsibilities and procedures you must follow. It will be easier to make a good impression if you fully understand what you need to do.

You also need to be sure not to take advantage of the flexibility being offered. Only take time off or change your schedule if you genuinely need to and not just because you feel like sleeping in. If your employer feels you are not taking your job seriously, they might not be willing to hire you back for following school years.

Still trying to decide what kind of job you want after college? Check out these cool jobs you've never heard of.

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