Freshmen at Boston College share one dream: Land a job on campus. And I did just that. Alumni relations hired me as a member of the events staff. The job seemed fun and flexible. Plus it felt like easy money. I gloated to my friends about finally landing a job, but made sure to not make it sound too appealing.
I considered it my little, occasional side-side hustle.
I wouldn’t want anyone to possibly take that away from me, right? In a way, I struck gold. But the road was rocky.
By second semester of freshman year, I applied to 13 on-campus jobs before I got the one I work at now. I know, I sound like a crazy person. But there were so many listings I couldn’t choose. I look back and laugh as I responded to basically everything—office assistant ads, research assistant ads, babysitting ads and even an ad to become a lifeguard.
From those 13 applications, I only got one interview. And that went down pretty tragically. After two weeks of no follow up from my interviewer, I mustered up the courage to send an email about the status of the job opening.
Three long minutes later, my hopes of working at the front desk of a random department on campus were kindly destroyed and given to someone “with much more experience.” I get it, but she could at least have waited longer than three minutes. No one’s ever been so fast to reject me. Whatever, though. I guess there was a special knack to sitting at a desk answering an occasional phone call that I didn’t have. It’s fine. I’m not bitter.
Adding on to the stress of the job search, my first year as a college student proved difficult in general. At this point, I was going through more than just a rejection from my first college job interview. I was trying to transition. And it was quite a disaster if you ask me.
I found myself getting on the train to go home on many weekends, missing out on activities and heavily relying on friendships I already established at home. It’s a true shame when I look back as a second-year student because I don’t go home now unless I absolutely need to (sorry, mom).
BC slowly became my home during my first year. And I say BC slowly became my home because I experienced plenty of things during my first year that eventually made me grow from an awkward and uncomfortable freshie to an involved and productive sophie (Is that even a word?).
Throughout my first year, I found comfort and finally fully transitioned into life as a college kid. One of these experiences that helped me find a home at school my freshman year was my on-campus job.
So, how did I even get this job? One of my best friends’ mom has a childhood friend who worked in the alumni relations office. She connected us to help with my transition to college, and somewhere in the mix, I connected with an admirable person who was willing to mentor me throughout my BC career and employ me.
In the alumni office, I mainly assisted with events. During the school year, the events included discussions with famous BC alum, lectures, memorials, ceremonies and more. The events usually only lasted a few hours and I rarely worked more than once a week. It was the perfect job for a freshman. I made some money and could not use my job as an excuse to not get my school work done in a timely manner.
As I began working more events, my school work seemed to improve. With more responsibilities to balance, I budgeted my time better.
This is adulting. And I was finally doing it right.
I worked with mostly students, meaning they also understood the challenges of balancing school and a job. That made creating a schedule with them a lot easier. Though quiet at first, as one is when starting a new job or in a new environment, they all welcomed me and I quickly opened up.
I began to see a lot of similarities between the other students and me and even began to meet the full-time staff that shared their experiences with me. Working so closely with many of them on events made me comfortable to ask them questions about what they studied in college and how they came to work for this office. Their stories were interesting, especially as a college freshman who was confused about switching my major.
For three days in the summer going into my sophomore year, I worked the ever-so-hectic reunion weekend. The event made me clock in many hours—early mornings, late nights, all day long on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I worked event after event throughout the day. During the days, I sweat more than I’d like to admit. During the night events, the chilly breeze sent shivers down my spine.
From working at the check-in desk to running around doing last minute preparation, to fruitfully engaging in conversation with alumni—time flew by. The almost ten-hour days were honestly more fun than I thought they would be. It didn’t hurt that I got paid to do these things, either.
After reunion, I found that I enjoyed working closely with alumni. Many of them led fulfilling lives and shared their insights on life, education and even love now and then (I am such a sucker for BC love stories). I felt so grateful the opportunity to work with the alumni and their committee staff.
So, this year, I am more than just an events staff member. One might say I’ve moved up in the world. I now work in the office on a weekly basis during the school year and still work some events.
I grapple with both long and short-term activities, still do preparation work for events and carry out general office assistant functions. My job may not be the most significant title. I may not have a life-altering experience on a daily basis, but I am a student first, anyways.
To say in the least, I am lucky. I enjoy my job (Not all students can say that!). It continues to present me with unique situations, gives me the opportunity to acquaint myself with various groups of people on and off campus and even keeps me active on campus.
And I consider that a pretty solid deal.