When it comes to employment in college, working on campus is an option that many students gravitate towards, including myself. Although the pros may be obvious, the cons might not be as clear.
I work for my university as a Peer Mentor for first year students who come straight from high school. It is a student assistant type job, but I get to work with professors and students, give presentations, attend events, and provide various advising. I have done this job for 2 years, and am entering my 3rd this coming Fall, which is a long time to stay in this job. Since I have been in this position for awhile, I have found many pros and cons for working on campus.
PRO: Jobs are targeted at you
On-campus jobs are largely targeted towards students to help them get work experience. Student assistants are often found in numerous departments at colleges, but other jobs like bookstore or food service hire students as well. Students are the most abundant resource for employment for colleges, and they use it.
CON: You may feel like you never leave campus
I often feel like I am on campus for very long periods of time because of school and work. I have had 12+ hour days for full semesters, and it can be very tiring and depressing to not get a change of scenery between work and school.
PRO: You meet other students
You will most likely work with other students, whether there are more student employees or you work in an office that offers student services. With the job I have, I not only work with 50+ other students, but I also work with a group of 20-30 first years every semester, so I get to meet many new people just from my job, and it is one of my favorite parts of my job.
CON: The hours may not be abundant
Because I work directly for my university and not through another employing entity on campus, I can only work 20 hours week because I am also a full time student. And my particular job only lets me have 10, so I would have to have another 10 hour job to even make 20. Because you are a student, campus employment won’t jeopardize your education with giving you too many hours, and for some that is a deal breaker.
PRO: You can get help paying for your education
Many students get offered work study as a part of their financial aid, which means that a student will work on campus and have money go towards paying for their education instead of directly to them. It is a very helpful resource for many, and some jobs are solely reserved for work study recipients.
CON: Change happens often
Coworkers will graduate and they will be replaced. Even your bosses will change because they get promoted or change jobs or schools. I have experienced a great deal of change in my job, from having 3 different supervisors to training structure to policies, and it can become overwhelming for those who do not like constant change.
PRO: School-friendly schedule
On campus jobs take into account when you are in class, and will try their best to not interrupt that. I have had no issues trying to coordinate work and school, and it is nice to not have to take on extra stress of picking between the two.
Have you worked on campus? What were your pros and cons?