Shaneika Booker>Senior>Journalism>Southern Illinois University
Have you ever called a university for information and no matter which department you needed to speak with, a student answered? How about actually going to visit the campus, were all the tour guides current students?
If you answered yes to the either of those questions, you have experienced a student at their campus job.
Satisfying a federal work study requirement introduced many first time students to the idea of working on campus. Jobs such as receptionists and office assistants are the most common campus positions. There are other campus opportunities too, however, such as dining hall food servers and maintenance or custodial work.
Many campuses are functional because of the help of student workers. When students take on these campus positions, they help to make the university function. Almost every office on campus needs students to answer phones and sort and file various documents, such as student records and office mail.
Jasmine Iman, a student at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, explained that she has worked almost everywhere on her campus. “I started out at the campus bookstore, from there I moved to the student banking center, and last but not least a receptionist at the university housing office," Iman said. “However the best job was at the banking center, because I just sat down and counted money all day.”
There are so many opportunities on campuses to help students develop skils, such as phone etiquette and customer service.
Anastasia Inez, a former student at SIUC, worked for her university’s dining hall. “I served food all day and cleaned tables and whatever other mess students would leave behind,” Inez said. “This was probably my least favorite on campus job because I would leave smelling like whatever was being served that day.”
Rather than manual labor, some students prefer a job that just required an occasional smile and greeting to people passing by and answering a few phone calls from students and their parents.
Kelli Cryer of Fisk University in Nashville, TN explained that it all depends on what type of student you are. “Not all students are good speakers, so office positions may not be their first choice,” Cryer said. “Some students like to work alone, so a job in maintence or janitorial work maybe ideal for them.”
These on-campus jobs can also help students if it has them perform work that relates to their major.
Brittany Freeman, a graduate student at SIUC, explains that she is working on her master’s degree in human resources. “I work in the human resource department of the university career center,” Freeman said. “It feels good to do work that I may be performing in the future and is also a good source of experience to include in her resume.”
Overall, on-campus jobs provide students with responsibility and help them learn organizational skills. There is no specific campus job that is better than the next; it all depends on the student. Although students work these various on-campus jobs, this does not mean that they will have a career answering phones or working in an office, becoming a janitor or even serving food to people. These jobs are temporary and just help to put a little extra pizza money in the pocket of the average college student.