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Campus Jobs are Real Jobs Too! (2649 hits)

For many college students working while in school is a must and a reality. Whether enrolled in 2-year, 4-year or a vocational training or career education program, campus jobs are often at a premium and college students try to land them early in the semester.

One of the problems I continue to see on college campuses is that working on campus is not considered to be serious work by many students or by departments that hire them. It is not unusual to hear college students say something like – “Oh, I just work on campus”. Aside from the fact that no one ever “just works" anywhere, since all work is important, campus employment offers really significant benefits for college students. Putting aside the schedule flexibility and the short commute, college students can gain the following real advantages by working on campus:

1. Meet college and univesity staff beyond the classroom. Most employees on college campuses love to work with college students and speak positively of their experiences. University employees are always willing to support exemplary student workers with letters of recommendations or become a reference for them in a job search or internship search.

2. Gain real, marketable skills in your preferred career area. College campuses are just like other organizations with employees in pretty much every functional area. For example, business students seeking real experiences can find college internship programson campus working in accounting, finance, HR, marketing and/or communications offices.

3. Develop an understanding of the actual job search process. Many campus administrators put college students through the actual hiring process. If resumes and interviews are needed, students get to walk through the actual hiring process. On many campuses there are formal application processes and students have to do more than just show up to get hired. They actually have to conduct a competitive job search.

4. Develop actual professional soft skills which are necessary for workplace success. Office etiquette, workplace social savvy, communication skills, following instructions etc. are all valuable skills that college students need to learn.

At the urging of many college career centers, some campuses are taking a more serious look at how they model the real world of work for they college students they hire.

I was part of the rollout of such an initiative as a Job Developer at my own alma mater’s college career center, many many moons ago. We didn’t realize how cutting edge we were back then.

Campus jobs are real jobs too and college students need to use the opportunity to develop real networking relationships and real job skills.

Courtesy of Career Coach Marcie who has trained or coached students and new grads for 10 years on workplace, career, internship and employment success. Subscribe to her BullsEye Career Blog
Posted By: Marcia Robinson
Wednesday, January 28th 2009 at 12:57PM
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On-campus jobs (and volunteer positions) are great learning opportunities, and allow you to answer the inevitable question that recruiters will ask at graduation time... "What practical experience do you have in (whatever field)?"

When I was a student, I did an on-campus internship, worked as a Resident Assistant (RA) and had a graduate assistantship. Each of those positions had a real application / interview process and it was taken seriously. I also put them on my resume, and have used those experiences to answer behavioral interview questions.

I think that a lot of students write off their experience because they don't see it as being relevant. Retail, hospitality, and call center jobs demonstrate your abiity to communicate with customers and solve problems. Internships are always a plus; in addition to valuable experience, they provide the opportunity to network and get visibility.

Don't leave campus with no experience! Unless you want to spend the next 3-6 months after graduation living in your parent's basement browsing Monster.com in your underwear. ;)

Thursday, January 29th 2009 at 2:44PM
You make excellent points Jonathan. Hopefully college students will take your advice to heart.

Marcie
Friday, January 30th 2009 at 8:42PM
Marcia Robinson
Yes, this is so true. Working on campus gives you close contact with professors and other important staff members. You neaver know who is watching you. These college positions can also land a permanent position on campus. When I arrived at Fayetteville State University,Iapplied for a student job. It was a year before I was hired.I will work on this job until I graduate. Being able to put this type of position on your resume is excellent. At my University we can continue to work if we decide to work on our Masters Degree. The job is ours as long as we are a student. Yes, these are REAL jobs.
Saturday, March 7th 2009 at 7:13AM
You are definitely a great example to follow Anita. Too many students blow these jobs off and they should not.
Marcie
Saturday, March 7th 2009 at 8:59AM
Marcia Robinson
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