Campus jobs are no joke

Career Management Center and Student Affairs to host campus job fair April 2

Students would be fools not to attend the campus job fair from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on April 2. 14 job departments will set up tables in the Clark Student Center Atrium to inform students about job opportunities on campus.

Stephanie Sullivan, assistant director of the Career Management Center, said, “Students can go from table to table talking to the different departments that have registered. Some departments may just want you to leave a resume. Some have said they may have some sort of application they’ll want you to fill out to get a little extra information.”

One of the reasons Sullivan said it’s important to hold job fairs is because many students don’t realize how many campus jobs are out there. The number of students working on campus at any given time is between 480 to 500 students.

“It’s always a good thing to bring all the departments to one location. The students are able to visit with everybody at one time, and the departments are also able to visit with a lot of students at once and get a lot of quality applications at one time. So it’s good for both parties to be able to communicate, visit, and learn. There’s sometimes positions that students don’t know about,” Sullivan said.

Cynthia Cummings, special events coordinator of the Clark Student Center, will be at the fair representing the student center. She said a job fair will help her go through the numerous applications she receives more efficiently.

“It’s easier for me to make a decision and do an actual interview after [seeing them at the job fair] than looking through a bunch of paper. Paper is important too. But for us, customer service skills are really important, so if somebody comes up to me, and they have really good customer service skills, that’s going to stand out. Then, if their paper application backs that up, then they’re more likely to get hired,” Cummings said.

Cummings said there will be three main positions available in the student center.

  1. In the recreation room: “The rec room is pretty easy. We still need somebody to be able to take the IDs and scan them, so they need to be able to be firm with students if needed. We check out items, so they have to be a little bit detail oriented to make sure we get the information we need for the items checked out. They have to be watchful of the students and be able to make decisions and tell the students to stop doing something. It’s pretty easy,” Cummings said.
  2. At the information desk: “The information desk is a lot more difficult. They definitely have to be computer literate. Customer service is a high priority as well. They need to be outgoing. They need to be able to make the right decisions when needed because we’re not always here,” Cummings said. “Every day is different at the information desk, so you have to be able to do research to find out stuff that not everybody would have the answer to. MSU has different things going on each week, so they have to keep doing research.”
  3. Set up crew: “Set up crew has to move tables and chairs a lot. They have to be able to organize them according to a diagram or so they look nice and neat and are spaced evenly. It’s a more physical job. They also have to be able to put together some electronics like projectors, sound and microphones,” Cummings said.                                                                                                                       Cummings said there’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes that not a lot of people realize happens. After the set up crew sets it all up, they have to take it all down and put it in a different arrangement for another event.                                                                                                                            “It’s a lot of work that they do, and it’s usually after events are over, so sometimes it’s late at night. Sometimes it’s early in the morning,” Cummings said.

Two reasons that Cummings said students should get a job in the student center is a sense of community in the workplace and the fact that students can catch up on homework when not working with a customer.

“If you see us interact with each other, it’s really evident. We’re kind of like a big family, and I’ve worked a lot of different places, but MSU is really good for that. We all know that we are here to benefit you guys [the students]. We all have a common goal, and we all work towards it. It’s a really good place to work, and us being happy relays to the student-workers being happy, and it’s just great,” Cummings said.

Angie Reay, director of the wellness center, said she will have a table set up representing the wellness center. She described five positions that will be open to students in the fall.

  1. Wellness center position: “That includes working at our front desk. It also includes cleaning our equipment, making sure the building looks great for everybody,” Reay said.
  2. Recreational sports managers: “All of our recreational sports that we host are typically during the evenings, so they manage the games, manage the score clock, and everything that goes with that event,” Reay said.
  3. Officials for Recreational sports: “If somebody has an officiating background, or they just really like basketball or volleyball or something like that and want to officiate and have experience we could hire them for that,” Reay said.
  4. Lifeguards: “I don’t know if we’re quite looking for lifeguards, but if somebody does have a certification at the job fair, we’ll make sure we talk to them about that,” Reay said.
  5. Group fitness instructors: “That’s something I started this last year was having more students lead our group fitness classes. We typically have about four or five students that teach group fitness classes now,” Reay said.

One of the major benefits that Reay mentioned is the opportunity for students to progressively work their way up to a supervisor position, for a bump in pay. Another benefit she mentioned was her flexibility with student schedules.

“That’s another good thing with our positions, we do it all based on students’ class schedule. We even have students work like a four hour block, or some might say ‘hey I have an hour between class, so I’m going to pick up this one hour shift here,’ so we’re really flexible with student schedules too.”

Four benefits of getting an on-campus job while in college

  1. Convenience: Reay said, “It’s easy access. They can go before or after classes. They don’t have to worry about transportation. I know a lot of our staff are international students, so on campus is the only place where they can typically work.”
  2. Financial gain: Reay said, “The staff that I have here and when I worked in campus housing are always very grateful because sometimes that’s their only income. On-campus jobs are super helpful.”
  3. Marketable skills: Sullivan said, “As they’re building they’re resumes, one of the things employers are looking for are some marketable skills. While they’re working and going to school, they’re learning time management, how to be organized. They’re learning teamwork abilities. They’re also learning technical skills. Maybe they’re learning some new computer programs they didn’t know about or some customer service skills that they may need later on.”
  4. Professional network of  references: Sullivan said, “ They’ve got their faculty that will be able to talk about their academic piece, but now they also have that professional reference to talk about ‘this person showed up on time. They were a team player. They were always willing to work.’”

Two tips for student workers

  1. Manage your time well: Sullivan said, “They need to be on top of their time management skills to make sure that they’re getting their class assignments done and that they’re producing quality work for their classes. But also looking at their class schedule to make sure they aren’t taking on too much. That’s the nice thing about working on campus. You’re limited to the 20 hours a week working, so it does help students manage their time with class studies.”
  2. Prioritize: Reay said, “Prioritizing and time management are two of the biggest things. You’re a student first. You’ve got to take care of it in the classroom because if you don’t, then you’re probably not going to be able to work here. Take care of your studies, whether that means going to the writing center or tutors. Make sure that’s your number one priority.”     Cummings agreed that these are two items that college students should keep in mind while working.                                 “Use time management skills to be able to study. Prioritize that. Don’t overwork yourself because in the end if you get more out of college, you’ll do better in life in the long run,” Cummings said.

Sullivan said she hopes many students attend the job fair to learn about the many different areas in which a student can work on campus.