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Clocking In: My Work-Study Experience

In which Fátima breaks down all of her on-campus jobs (so far!)

In which Fátima breaks down all of her on-campus jobs (so far!)

Carleton’s work-study program is unique in its league. Nearly 80% of Carls will hold at least one on-campus position during their time at Carleton, and these can vary from administrative jobs to being a Resident Assistant or even making cookies for Dacie Moses’ brunches! I have been lucky enough to hold a variety of positions in my time here. Here they are, in chronological order of when I first held them.

Admissions Office Assistant

I was offered this position as part of my financial aid package as an incoming first-year student. It is also one of two positions (the other being this blog!) I have held every year I’ve been at Carleton! My favorite part about being an Admissions Office Assistant is the flexibility that comes with the job. I love being able to schedule my shifts first thing in the morning, that way I can dedicate myself to my academic and other responsibilities the rest of the day.

Prospective students and their families gather in Sayles Cafe during a campus tour.
As an Admissions Worker, I have occasionally also found myself giving campus tours and participating in info sessions!

Admissions Blogger

I was also offered the opportunity to be a blogger for this very blog here when I first came to campus as a first-year student. Though I have not blogged every term I’ve been at Carleton, I think this job is a super fun way to keep a record of my comings and goings as a Carl. I look forward to looking back at this blog and reminiscing about my days on campus.

Mail Services Clerk

I first joined the Mail Services team during the winter break of my first year and had the pleasure of being back this past summer. Though this is probably the most physically demanding job I’ve had, it has also been one of the most enjoyable! David, the boss, is the coolest supervisor on campus (please don’t tell that to my other supervisors!), and the other student workers and I always end up becoming friends, bonding over our shared distaste for the people who order heavy boxes and our love for the free candy at the Student Activities Office.

A [short] student stands next to a big pile of boxes.
This is a TINY sample of the number of packages we had to deal with daily leading up to New Student Week!

Spanish Research Assistant

Vera, a professor at the Spanish Department, reached out to me during my freshman spring term to offer me a position as her research assistant, an opportunity I couldn’t let go by! Ever since I’ve helped Vera in translating her research projects, grading Spanish students’ homework, and other miscellaneous tasks as she needs them. I only do this a couple of hours a week, but I enjoy being able to use and practice my academic Spanish.

Spanish Teacher Assistant

Last spring term, I became a Spanish teacher assistant (TA) for Spanish 103. My main job was to conduct biweekly sessions with a group of 8 students. During these lessons, we would practice conversation and review the grammatical structures and vocabulary they had learned in the main class with fun activities and the occasional Jeopardy game. I feel lucky to have had this opportunity to increase my participation in the Spanish-speaking community on campus and share my love for my language.

Lighten Up… Clerk?

Okay, I don’t remember my position’s official title, but I worked for Lighten Up at the beginning of this past summer and it was one of the most entertaining jobs I’ve had on campus. Lighten Up is the huge garage sale that Carleton hosts at the end of the spring term to raise money for local organizations. We moved around thousands of objects left behind, from Carleton swag and minifridges to hockey sticks and bedsheets! My favorite part of the job? We got to keep anything cool we found!

Three woman pose with a "Zero Waste Minnesota" sign.
My Lighten Up supervisors Danielle and Erika during a community event to promote Zero Waste initiatives in Northfield.

Admissions Fellow

As you can see, I have made my way around the Admissions Office. This term, I am working as an Admissions Fellow, which means I get the enormous privilege of interviewing prospective students. Like current Carls, future Carls are fascinating and fun people to talk to, so I have enjoyed it very much so far!


Working on campus has allowed me to earn a little bit of money to pay for tuition and other necessities while meeting people from all over the Carleton community, gaining valuable work experience, and exploring my interests and strengths. I can’t wait to see what exciting new roles I stumble upon in the next two years!

As a junior, Fátima (she/her) is excited to continue her pursuit of a SOAN major and (hopefully!) Educational Studies, Latin American Studies, and Cross-cultural Studies minors. Outside class, she enjoys her leadership roles with Fellowship in Christ and the Undergraduate Journal for Humanistic Studies. In her free time, Fátima likes spending time with her mentee, poorly playing the piano, watching cartoons, and desperately missing her dog, Cosmo. Meet the other bloggers!