Many of those students hold down jobs on campus.
Whether enrolled in 2-year, 4-year or a vocational training or career education program, jobs on campus are often at a premium and college students try to land them early in the semester. One university I am aware of, would actually have a job fair just to help students find those jobs within the first two to three weeks of school.
One of the problems I continue to see on college campuses is that working jobs on campus is sometimes not considered to be serious work, both by the students and by the 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, jobs on campus offers really significant benefits for college students. Putting aside the schedule flexibility and the short commute, college students can gain real advantages by working in jobs on campus.
Benefits of jobs on campus
Meet college and university 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.
Gain real, marketable skills in your preferred career area.
College campuses are just like any other organization with employees working in pretty much every functional area. For example, business students seeking real work experiences can find college internship programs on campus working in accounting, finance, HR, marketing and/or communications offices. Some offices will have confidential work that is off limits to students, but there are still plenty of work roles in business offices.
Develop an understanding of the actual job search process.
Many campus administrators like to put college students through the actual hiring process with resumes and interviews as 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.
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 to work jobs on campus.
I was part of the rollout of an initiative at my own alma mater’s college career center, many many moons ago. We didn’t realize how cutting edge we were back then. Since then I have introduced the concept of a professional job application process to other colleges. The students have a much better employee experience because of it.
Jobs on campus jobs are real jobs too and college students need to use the opportunity to develop real work experience, real networking relationships and real job skills.