It is a truth universally acknowledged that college is expensive, but if you want to take control of your college finances, one thing you can do is get a part-time, on-campus job.
I got my first on-campus job in my first year of college. It was nice having some extra spending money each week. Since then, I've held four different positions across on campus, so I know how to get these jobs. Even though we're remote this fall, there are still many departments looking for student workers.
Assess Your Skills
To start your job hunt, consider your skills. Do you know the campus like the back of your hand? Do you know how to use Adobe Photoshop? Did you get As in any classes? These can all lead to different on-campus jobs. For example, if you know your campus, consider becoming a tour guide in admissions. You want you leverage your skills to be the best candidate for the job.
Know Your Options
To find job openings, check out your school's career center. They will either have leads to any open positions or access to job boards. At my school, Handshake is the place to find on-campus jobs; your school might use a similar platform.
Another way to find jobs is by asking your network. Word of mouth goes a long way. I got all four of my on-campus jobs by knowing the right people at the right time.
Consider the Bird in Hand
If you can't find your dream position, that's okay! Just like jobs in the post-college world, on-campus jobs require patience. If all you can find at the moment is a position with your school's alumni office when you want to work in the library, snag that alumni office position and work there for now. You never know when the library will have any open positions.
If you qualify for a work-study position, definitely seek out on-campus employment. Certain positions are only available to work-study students, so make sure you fill out your FAFSA to determine your eligibility.
Finding your first on-campus job can be difficult, but the search pays off in the end. All in all, it's a rewarding experience. You gain real-world skills, build your resume, and get paid.
If you have any further questions about finding on-campus jobs, reach out to your school's career center. They know your school's resources best, so they'll be able to point you in the right direction.
Wren Lee (they/them/theirs) is a storyteller, designer, and activist using the mediums of human-centered design, film, social media, and graphic design to impact social change, especially for LGBTQ and Asian American Pacific Islanders. They are exploring the intersection of design, film, technology, and human rights.