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What kind of on-campus job should I get?

Claresta from the University of Massachusetts – Boston asked: 

I’m a sophomore  international student. I’m currently looking for on-campus jobs and volunteer opportunities because I don’t have any work experience. What type of jobs/positions I should consider?

Hi Claresta –

First, I commend you for thinking about a job and getting experience early in your college career.  This is a wise move, because most employers want to see candidates with more than just a college degree when they graduate.

Your question is really broad; so broad, in fact, that in order to answer it, you have to answer a few other questions first.  Such as:

  • What type of experience are you looking for?
  • What is your primary objective in finding a campus job?  Money? General/Specific Experience?
  • What skills do you offer?
  • What types of work environments suit you best?
  • What do you like to do?

Here are a few ideas for you to consider:

If you are an accounting or finance major, you might check with the Financial Aid Office or the Development Office to see if they have any work-study positions available.  Both of these offices deal with money, budgets and finances, so working there could benefit your career.

If you like sports and recreation, check out your campus gym or rec center.  Student workers in these departments often gain exposure to intramural sports and event management, athletic facility management, wellness, and other related fields.

Interested in healthcare?  Check out opportunities at the student health center.

Psychology?  Go to the Psychology Department to see if they need any student workers or if any faculty are looking for undergraduate research assistants.

Public Relations?  Talk to you campus public affairs office, the admissions department or the sports information office.

Hospitality?  Look into opportunities and residence life and housing.

I could go on and on, but I won’t! The point here is to let your interests lead your exploration and put yourself in a position to be around other people (particularly working professionals) who share your interests.

You should also consider the work environment. Do you work best in a traditional office environment, a retail environment, indoors or outdoors, a service organization?  Do you prefer working independently or in groups?  Do you see yourself working in business, education, government, non-profit?

Getting experience to complement your degree is important, but you should spend some time defining what you hope to get out of the experience before you start looking so you will know what types of positions to pursue.

Talk to the career advisers at your university.  They can help you sort through your options and, perhaps, refer you to departments on your campus that might need some student help.

Good luck,

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