Every year in the second full week in April, colleges and universities across the United States recognize the students who not only attend classes but who work as employees in various capacities across their campuses. National Student Employment Week is a time to recognize the value of student employees who enrich the campus experience while performing outstanding work as they attend college in pursuit of a degree or certificate.
This year, TMCC nominated ten of its student employees to receive the recognition of being the Student Employee of the Year. “It was a very close race this year,” said Valerie Lambert who manages the Student Employment and Work Study programs on campus. “There were three top contenders the committee discussed at length.” A winner, though, was selected and will be honored at the Student Employee of the Year Awards Luncheon on Tuesday, April 9.
All You Need to Know about Student Employment
Currently, there are 265 student workers at TMCC who are employed in nearly every department from Facilities to the President’s Office. 171 of those students are on Work Study, which is a part of their Financial Aid award. There are a few requirements students must fulfill in order to be eligible for student employment, which include:
- Maintain a 2.0 GPA
- Enrollment in six or more credits
- Must meet satisfactory academic progress
Student employees earn, on average, $9–$12 per hour, and work for 20 hours per week. Over the years, the number of student workers on campus has grown exponentially: since the 2013–14 fiscal year, the number of student employees on campus has increased by 118%, and the number of students on Work Study by 337%.
Lambert coordinates with several departments on campus, encouraging supervisors to consider student employees, and with the on-campus Career Center to ensure that students know about on-campus job opportunities. “TMCC is a small community,” said Lambert, “but we do what we can to help each other.”
Top 3 Reasons Why Student Employment and Work Study Rocks
- You’re here. It might seem silly to say so, but the fact that you’re here and the job is here is something to consider when your schedule is all over the place. How else can you attend a class and pop by your job to put in two hours before you’re headed off to another class? By working on campus, you eliminate the hassle and time of commuting off campus and finding a parking space when you return.
- We’re flexible. Because you’re working on campus, when things get hectic, your department will understand. If you need to study for midterms or finals, or you have a big project due, departments are prepared to allow their student workers the leeway to address their academic careers first. When your schedule changes from semester to semester (because it always does, right?) you won’t lose your job. Departments are required to accommodate your class schedule—at an on-campus job, your responsibilities as a student always come first.
- You’re more likely to graduate. According to several studies, students who work on campus either through Work Study or as student employees are more likely to graduate than students who work off-campus jobs. This is because on-campus employment is less disruptive to academics, and (most times) aligns with what you’re studying.
Tips for Landing Your Dream On-Campus Job
So, maybe we’ve convinced you to check out the jobs that are offered on campus. What are the next steps?
You’ve probably heard this before, but you should fill out a FAFSA application. “That will put them in the pipeline,” said Lambert. You won’t know if you qualify for Work Study unless you submit a FAFSA. If you don’t qualify? Check back with the Career Center to see what employment options are available.
Next, attend any (or all) on-campus workshops aimed at increasing your employability skill sets. In fact, there’s one happening this week on Thursday, April 11 in RDMT 255 called “8 Competencies.” The event is free, open to all students, and even provides you with a free lunch.
Finally, look for on-campus events that involve employers from the community like the upcoming Mocktail Party at the Golden Frog happening on Monday, April 15 (RSVP required.) These events will help you to build those “soft skills” we mentioned earlier. What does it mean to wear “Business Casual” attire? Attending events like this one will help you know how to answer that question.
If you take advantage of the resources and supports on campus, we’re sure you’ll find an on-campus employment opportunity that will support your academic goals while preparing you for your future career. For more information about Student Employment and Work Study, contact the Office of Financial Aid at 775-673-7072.