Working in college is now more frequent than not working in college.
Michael Bialas, financial associate at Thrivent Financial, said the most successful people he encounters are those who work multiple jobs while in college.
At the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, well over three thousand students work on campus in various positions, at all levels and in almost all departments.
Some students work in an entry level position such as at a front desk, residence hall or computer lab. Other students have higher level positions that require specific skills such as student managers, protective services or lab workers.
Susan LeBow, assistant director for University Centers Student Involvement and Employment Office, mentioned the benefits for students working on campus are to earn money, meet new people, develop relationships with professionals, work with flexible employers and gain experience.
“It’s a nice way to kind of test out the career you thought maybe you want to be in and say, ‘Yes I do, I really do love this’ or ‘Gosh, there’s a whole lot to this that I never thought about,’” LeBow said. “It can spur ideas about things you might want to do.”
LeBow mentions another benefit for students working on campus is the opportunity to learn effective time management skills.
National studies indicate that students who work less than 20 hours per week, on campus do well, if not better, academically than their non-working peers.
The UWSP website states that, “we believe having a part-time position, on-campus for less than 10 hours a week, provides students with another means to make a connection to campus, meet new people, and to earn a few dollars.”
However, if working becomes a student’s sole focus, they become a worker that goes to school part time rather than a student that works part time. There needs to be a balance.
Elsa Jensson, sophomore communications major, worked with Dining Services for three semesters and now works as an office assistant in the math department. She understood the importance of gaining experience rather than just working for money, so she switched jobs to fit her personality and to correlate with what she hopes to do in the future.
“A lot of people don’t have the opportunity to have a job,” Jensson said. “It gives me the opportunity to know staff on campus more and to get to know fellow students more because they are now my co-workers.”
Jensson preferred to work on campus because employers worked well with her class schedule, it was convenient and it paid decent.
The number of students employed on campus changes depending on the number of students enrolled each year.
Departments such as Dining Services, Residential Living or SIEO are all student fee funded. Less students enrolled means less funding for these departments on campus so there could be cuts with student positions to cover lack of funding.
Gregory Lang, payroll supervisor with Dining Services works to hire student employees. He mentioned that Dining Services currently has about 430 student employees, 219 hired in the past year alone.
When everyone is doing a lot of great things, how do these departments cut or adjust what they are already doing?
LeBow mentioned that working with students has been beneficial because she has counted on them to talk about what kind of programs they would like to see.
“Maybe we have to cut programs, maybe we have to realign things. Maybe we don’t do some of these things, but we start doing things over here,” LeBow said. “Just because we’ve always done it, doesn’t mean we should always keep doing it.”
Students can find on and off campus employment by visiting the large online job database referred to as Quest, applying for work study and attending job fairs provided by SIEO. These resources are provided free of charge to employers and to student job seekers.
The Summer Camp and Recreation Job Fair will be Tuesday, Feb. 17 from 10-3 in DUC Laird Room for students seeking summer employment opportunities.