Finding the perfect campus job

By Sarah Foster

This summer, I began my newest job position: a communications intern for the Office of Technology Management.

On my first day, as I grabbed a collection of notebooks and pencils from my book bag, climbed three flights of stairs to my new office and learned about the duties of my position, my jitters dissolved. I realized this job would help me harness and utilize the skills I learned in the classroom.

For college students, jobs and internships are invaluable experiences. Some let students do work that directly applies to their major, while other entry-level positions simply build time management and communications skills. While students learn these important skills, however, their jobs can also help fill their wallets.

But when you’re new to campus, it can be hard to know where to look for jobs. Here’s some advice on how to find the position to suit you.

Befriend professors

Get The Daily Illini in your inbox!

  • Catch the latest on University of Illinois news, sports, and more. Delivered every weekday.
  • Stay up to date on all things Illini sports. Delivered every Monday.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
Thank you for subscribing!

When in doubt, ask your professors. This advice is applicable for every question you have throughout your experience in college: Never underestimate the value of your professors.

I found my previous jobs through correspondence with people in the journalism department. Your professors are there to help you succeed and learn. They want you to be the best that you can be. When you take the time to build a relationship with them, most will love to help you.

Befriend your career services staff

The College of Media Career Services also helped me throughout my job search. They not only knew about opportunities, but they helped me craft, revise and improve my resume. They read draft after draft of my cover letter, and they even showed me how to be successful in an interview.

Never be afraid to approach your major’s career services department or even the University’s general Career Center. Their job is literally to help you find a job. But like your professors, you must take the first step and seek them out.

Use I-Link

The Career Center on campus sponsors a website called I-Link, which displays hundreds of jobs and opportunities both on and off campus. It’s accessible and easy-to-use.

It allows you to upload and send your resume to employers directly through the site. It has a helpful advanced search tab, where you can find positions based on your major, interests and skill sets.

The University’s Virtual Job Board

The University has a specific webpage dedicated to helping its students find part-time employment. These positions are all diverse — everything from research assistants and clerical work, to long-term and seasonal commitment. Just plug in the type of job you want and hit submit — it’s as easy as that.

Students can even use the Board as a way to discover jobs off campus and in the C-U community, like retail work at Market Place Shopping Center, for example. Students can find exactly what works for them when they are in need of extra monetary support throughout their college experience.


Finally, don’t be afraid to reach out to people. The worst they can say is no.

I found a freelance position simply by emailing an editor and asking about an opportunity to write for their magazine.

Reaching out to people in your field, or even asking your friend who works at McDonald’s to put in a good word for you when you apply, can make a big difference. Once people know your name and face, you will stand out from the crowd. They will realize how much you care and point out or even offer jobs your way.

Sarah is a junior in Media.

[email protected]