For some students, college is about more than cramming for exams or spending the night out with friends. The costs of textbooks, food and everyday necessities begin to add up, and many students support themselves by finding an on-campus job.
According to Emily Wickstrom Neal, assistant director for the University’s Career Center, having an on-campus job on a resume is really benefecial.
“Any experience that you have in addition to schoolwork is really helpful when you’re searching for your career or applying for grad school, any professional experience is valuable,” she said.
Lindsay Duffy, a sophomore in Education, said she supports herself financially by working at Te Shurt on Wright Street. She learned of the job opportunity in the Fall of 2013.
“Before I got the job, I was a frequent customer at the store, so the manager knew me,” she wrote in an email. “I talked to (her) and asked for an application.”
Since she began, Duffy said the atmosphere of the store and the friendly dynamic with coworkers has made working on campus a worthwhile experience.
“I love the people I work with because we’re all students,” she said. “We get along really well, especially with our manager. I’ve met some new friends by working there that I even hang out with outside of work. Also, the store is close to the Quad and my apartment, so it’s nice when I have a shift right before or after class.”
She feels that the “nice, relaxed” atmosphere of the store may be unique compared with other on-campus jobs. One of her favorite parts of working at the store is when the manager brings her dogs into the store on football game days, or when employees get the opportunity to watch games on the store’s TV during shifts.
An additional perk, she said, is that students don’t have to work when the University is not in session.
“(The) manager is really understanding about (us) being busy college students, so there’s no uniform and (we) never have to work over holiday breaks because the store is closed,” she said.
For those students who are more career-oriented, there is also the option of working at a job that complements a student’s major and assists in developing skills that are applicable to a future career.
Laurel Jakubowski, a dietetics major and senior in ACES, works at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, where she has been working since July 2013. Jakubowski said she found out about the available job opportunity when her academic adviser sent out an email about the opportunity saying “it is a great way to get clinical dietetic experience.”
“My favorite part is interacting with the patients on the phone and helping them get the most out of what their diet will allow them to order,” she wrote in an email. “It’s great when the patients appreciate us for what we do.”
According to Jakubowski, the experiences that she has gathered from working a job related to her major have allowed her to gain “knowledge of how dietetics is applied in a hospital setting, such as learning all of the therapeutic diet orders and what kind of restrictions are associated with each diet.”
In terms of advice from Duffy and Jakubowski when it comes to applying for jobs, both said it is important to keep an eye out for various job postings.
“Apply everywhere,” Duffy said. “I submitted my applications to a lot of places and picked the best one I was offered.”
Jakubowski recommended using the University’s virtual job board to look at recent postings from employers on campus.
Neal said the Career Center is also a place that students can go to for help for on-campus jobs.
“We would make sure that (students) know what a resume is, … to give them resources, … maybe talk through the interview process, and make sure that students are even aware of the Virtual Job Board,” she said.
She also spoke about what specific resources the Career Center has to offer students who are preparing for on-campus jobs, including mock interviews, drop-in hours and counseling appointments.
She encouraged “being aware of all the job positions offered, keeping your options open, being positive, showing interest, having good work ethic and a great attitude are all key.”
Jaini can be reached at [email protected]