On-campus jobs provide learning opportunities for students

On-campus jobs provide learning opportunities for students

By Emily Chang

Behind the scenes of any great university are the individual workers who make sure programs and services are running efficiently. During the pandemic, the need for on-campus workers declined while many services moved to an online format. With the return to campus after more than a year away, many opportunities for on-campus employment have opened up and are eager to hire students.  

Working on campus provides several benefits, especially if you live on campus. Having your classes and your workplace in the same setting makes your schedule easier to manage and cuts down on transportation time and costs. Additionally, having an on-campus job is a great way to gain experience and make money as a college student. 

In an interview with The CI View, CI career counselor Jake Castellanos said available positions include “peer mentoring, tutoring, administrative and much more.” Peter Maher, Director of Dining Services, also told The CI View that Dining Services are “looking to hire all positions, such as cooks, bussers, dishwasher(s) and baristas.” A wide range of jobs are available dealing with different work and requiring various skills, providing opportunities for students to find a job that fits their unique abilities and circumstances. 

The variety of available positions is not the only advantage of working on-campus, however. Castellanos explained, “Working on campus also provides the ability for students to create connections with different campus stakeholders and learn about various opportunities and events taking place…Employers and grad programs look to see how active and involved you were on campus.” 

For example, working as a student sustainability assistant as an environmental science major would demonstrate your commitment to improving your local community as you apply concepts you learned in class. Whereas real-world application can sometimes be difficult to grasp in the classroom, jobs give you firsthand experiences that solidify your knowledge and skills. 

Castellanos also pointed out that on-campus employers acknowledge the precedence of your duty as a student, so they “tend to be flexible around your class schedule.” Additionally, “if commuting to school, you can use one commute to go to classes (in-person) and work a shift in the same day.” Maher agreed that “(they) work around student schedules better than most employers” and that “school always comes first.” Working a job at CI offers technical benefits and allows for networking, helping to develop job skills and future opportunities. 

Updated lists of available campus jobs can be found through the Dolphin CareerLink, which is available through myCI. Another resource is Job Search, available through www.csuci.edu/careerdevelopment/. Clicking on any of the job titles in either list will take you to a description of the job, required skills and other key information like desired majors and salary. Applying for that job is as simple as clicking the “apply” button, which allows you to upload your resume and any other necessary documents. The numerous filters available through Dolphin CareerLink also allows students to seek internships, off-campus jobs and positions in specific industries or for specific roles. 

Navigating how to apply for jobs as someone who is inexperienced does not have to be a solo task. To help with this process, CI offers assistance throughout each stage of applying for a job. Castellanos explained, “The Career Development and Alumni Engagement Center (CDAE) has a variety of resources, including resume and cover letter resources as well as in-person or virtual appointments to prep students with document reviews and interview prep…The Career Center is open for in-person drop-ins from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1-4 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday. The Center is located in Bell Tower 1548.” 

Opportunities for on-campus jobs and the available employment resources reflect CI’s mission to cultivate community engagement and enforce a curriculum that reflects and prepares students for the real world. The experience gained from applying and working an on-campus job is valuable to further career development.  

Castellanos concluded, “Lastly, if there is an opportunity that interests you and you meet most of the qualifications, go for it and apply!” With an abundance of resources to provide help along the way, on-campus jobs are accessible and valuable to students. Take advantage of the current open positions and make progress toward long-term success. 

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