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Deciding Between College Campus Jobs? 3 Questions You Should Ask

Aug 21, 2013 • Mark Burns • Work & Internships
Working as a cashier is just one of many college campus jobs.

Working as a cashier is just one of many college campus jobs.

Whether it be for financial or academic reasons, many students take on paid college campus jobs during the school year. One challenge these students face is to choose a job that allows adequate study time and a satisfactory social life while working during the semester.

From my own positive and negative experiences with college campus jobs, I compiled a list of 3 crucial questions to ask yourself when choosing an on-campus position.

1. Does this job have flexible hours?

As with most jobs, one of the largest concerns when looking for work during the year is time management. Look for a job that complements your already busy schedule. Unfortunately, this is much easier said than done!

During the fall of my sophomore year, I worked as a cashier in the school dining hall. I found that there was little flexibility in my schedule and my shifts were extremely long. I didn’t return to the job in the spring semester because the inflexible hours conflicted my class and study times. Before you accept a job offer, always make sure that you’ll still be able to devote the necessary time to your class work!

2. Is this job relevant to my major?

Many students prefer to find jobs that are consistent with their classwork. In fact, it’s pretty common to find a position that will look good on your résumé and offer some knowledge beyond the classroom.

During the spring of my freshman year, I worked in a biology lab sterilizing the equipment used in graduate experiments. While I didn’t realize it at the time, the knowledge of lab equipment that I gained actually gave me an advantage when I took an upper-level laboratory class two years later.

3. Do I qualify for work-study positions on campus?

There are a few types of college campus jobs that allow students to study while working, including manning the front desk at the student union and working at the library. During my junior year I worked in the photo lab making sure that the chemicals in the dark room were at appropriate concentrations and temperatures. I would spend 10 hours a week in the lab, and I was able to sit and study for about eight of these hours. This was the perfect work-study job for me because it allowed for ample study time while I was working and getting paid.

If you do decide to have a job during the school year, seek one that doesn’t jeopardize the academic or social aspects of your college career. Look for college campus jobs that offer good pay while allowing you to work hours that are both flexible and manageable. With the proper investigation, you should be able to find a job that’s perfect for you!

Photo Source: Flickr

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