On-Campus Jobs: The Road to Getting that Moolah and More

4 Oct

College life doesn’t come cheap. If only getting money was as easy as rappers make it seem. “I get money.” Why yes, 50 Cent, you sure do, but a lot of us college kids aren’t lucky enough to be “stanky rich.”  

50 centlucy change

So, when scholarships and loans don’t add up — and producersaren’t knocking down your door with multi-million-dollar record contracts — what’s the next best thing? A job. For many, the term causes a feeling of landing in unknown territory.

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For others, we know the term oh-too-well.

Wherever you’re at, let me take you through my journey of searching and landing a job on-campus.

Let’s start with the basics: do I want/need a job?

The first step is acceptance. After noticing that my adventurous food spree was depleting my high school summer savings faster than the speed of light, I came to terms with my problem and found a solution: I needed a job, pronto.

After acceptance is achieved, the next step is preparation.

As crazy as it may sound, landing a job takes effort and commitment; who knew? Career Services does. They provide free programs, both online and in-person, to help Wildcats develop a strong resume, search for jobs, and even practice interview skills. Thanks to such services, prepping is made easy! Know that you are not alone in this maze to a getting a job. Career Services has your back!

Once you have composed your resume, are interview-ready, have your references lined-up (make sure to ask them first if it is ok with them to be your reference and then discuss with them what’s going on) and you’re rocking that confidence, comes the next step in the journey: looking for a job.

Luckily for you and I, the UA loves student workers and helps facilitate and expedite the job-search by providing several tools.

Exhibit A: Wildcat Joblink. This dandy online tool can be found through Career Services and is a haven for employers as well as potential employees. The program integrates more helpful tips for resume-building and interview skills, but its main attraction is its compilation of on-campus and off campus jobs available to students. Cruise through the Web site and see what the UA has to offer you!

Exhibit B: Make sure to look into emails from your college and other departments on campus as they may contain job opportunities.

Job Opportunity

If you’re not feeling the online-dating vibe of landing a job, don’t sweat it! There are other ways to find your perfect job-match.

Exhibit C: Simply communicate with others. Network! Ask around! Teachers, advisors, and even that dude who sleeps in class next to you  might know of an employer who is hiring, so why not pick their brains – even if you have to wake them up – for the valuable information? From personal experience, friends and previous coworkers referred me to the job I currently have (which allows me to write blogs). If you have already had a job on-campus, you have the advantage of being connected. Sometimes, it really comes down to who you know!

Okay, you’ve found something that looks interesting to you, and you meet the job-requirements … so, send in the required paperwork and wait for a possible interview.

Waiting doesn’t mean you can’t be productive. Prepare interview-worthy outfits, practice your interview skills, get to know more about the job, and develop questions about it. Employers love students who come prepared with a thirst for more information! Stand out—in a good way of course. 

Once you get an interview, think of it this way: you get to talk about yourself and how amazing and brilliant you are, just in a more structured, professional manner. For a lot of us, talking about ourselves comes naturally… it’s your time to shine!

I recall my first interview, and let me tell you, it was far from ideal. I was so   nervous that I stuttered my words, moved a little too much, and even blanked-out a couple times.

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Despite my struggles, I engaged effectively with the interviewer and asked questions that showed I had done my research regarding the position.

My resume also did wonders, as they loved the involvement and skills I could bring to the job. I can’t emphasize it enough: a strong resume makes all the difference.

Somehow after what I thought to be a train wreck, I got an email congratulating me on getting the job!

Once the “scary” parts are over, it’s all about the wait for that “congratulations.” 

Make sure that you don’t put all your eggs in one basket though. If you really need a job, apply for multiple positions on-campus. Also, know that if you don’t land a job the first time around you have many other opportunities, so don’t get discouraged! If anything, let it motivate you to continue your endeavors for that job that you’ll be a perfect match for.

Now that I have covered the basics of the process, you might be wondering, what good is a job if, like 50 Cent, “Money I got, money is got”?

A job can provide you with more than just that moolah. Having a job is a great resume-builder where you can acquire skills and connections that will influence your future endeavors.

Personally, all three of the jobs I’ve had on-campus have strengthened skills I already possessed and helped me acquire new ones. For example, during the summers, I worked as an Orientation and Welcome Leader. From this position, I obtained incredible knowledge of the UA and its resources, great communication skills, and mastered the art of confidently walking backwards around campus!

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The other job I have had as a Peer Advisor through Prodigy helped me realize that close interaction and helping others was something of great importance in my working life. This job served to reinforce the things I already knew I wanted in a possible future career and helped me discover some things I would rather steer away from like making gingerbread houses for a living.

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Whatever your motivation is for getting an on-campus job, know that you have an abundance of opportunities right at your Wildcat paws! It is up to you to embrace those options and be on your way! If you do, you’ll be surprised by what you can take away, besides just a paycheck to get you that “Bling like BLAOW.”

   –Lucero Pesqueira

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