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Working Hard or Hardly Working? A Snapshot of Student Employment

Jancyn talks student employment at Carleton and some of the jobs she's held on campus.

Jancyn talks student employment at Carleton and some of the jobs she's held on campus.

Work Hard, Play Hard

Having a job in college is certainly not an experience that is unique to Carleton. However, one fantastic feature of Carleton is its wide array of places in which you can end up working. You may be employed by the bookstore, the dining hall, or the library, which are all great options, but you can also end up in a variety of other places.

Nearly all of the offices on campus like the Center for Community and Civic Engagement (CCCE), Off Campus Studies (OCS), Business Office, and Office of Intercultural Life/International Student Life have paid student work positions in some capacity. These jobs vary between offices and how many hours of work can be expected. Other options include working in landscaping, the arboretum, mail services, athletic facilities, or as a teaching assistant in an academic department. There are so many places to work on campus that Carleton students need not seek out employment outside of Carleton. 

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Me, Zoë, and Kelly in front of Scoville while working as summer fellows! (summer 2021)

I, for example, have only worked in the offices on campus. My freshman year, I worked for the president of the college. The job ranged from picking up Stevie P’s burrito order from Sayles to helping construct policies/addresses to answer the slew of emails from concerned parents as March of 2020 progressed. It was admittedly a wide range of responsibilities and a great experience on campus. Currently, I work in admissions as a Summer Fellow and as the Special Projects Coordinator during the year. 

Every Job is a Little Different

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A group photo of the Student Wellness Advocates (SWAs) from the Office of Health Promotion.

While my work experiences are different from many, some things remain constant. Most importantly, academics are the priority. The main institutional commitment to ensuring this is that first-year students may only work up to 8 hours per week and returning students are allowed to work up to 10 hours per week. As far as covering costs concerning your financial aid package, you select how much of your work earnings you’d like to apply to your tuition and can change it at any time! Financial aid awards at Carleton are a combination of grants, loans, and student employment, so all students receiving financial aid are offered a student job on campus.

However, not only students receiving aid have jobs – nearly 80% of students have a job on campus while 55% of students receive need-based aid. This means student employment isn’t a socioeconomically-ostracizing experience for students but rather a normal part of the average Carl’s schedule.

Communication is Key

Communicating with your boss/supervisor about your academic workload and what that means in terms of scheduling is a necessary conversation. Additionally, if you find yourself overwhelmed by academics, it’s recommended to chat with your supervisor about getting a shift covered or not coming in. Some jobs even allow you to do homework on the clock. 

If you’re ever wondering what jobs on campus are available, check the job postings board. First-years who receive aid will receive their work assignment by mid-August! Student employment at Carleton is a great way to be involved in the community, make connections, and learn applicable job skills. Whether it’s your first job or a part of the routine for you, working on campus can be a lot of fun. 

Jancyn is a rising junior from Kansas City, MO. She is a Political Science/IR major and has minors in Public Policy and Spanish. Outside of class, Jancyn serves as a senator on CSA (student senate), plays women’s varsity volleyball, coaches men’s club volleyball, serves as president/founder of the Black Student-Athletes of Carleton, participates in a number of Black student orgs, and works for the Admissions Office! Meet the other Bloggers!