Discourse / Editorials / October 26, 2016

Thoughts from the Embers: Campus jobs add to college experience

Knox offers many great opportunities for students, ranging from academics to events to arts to internships. One important aspect of life in college that is often overlooked is the opportunity to work on campus. If you do not currently have a campus job, there are many reasons to get one.

Working at Knox allows students to come into regular contact with people in the community that are not students and get outside of the Knox bubble without even leaving the campus. Many staff and faculty members have lived in Galesburg for their entire lives and have amazing stories about life at Knox decades ago. They can offer a unique perspective on Knox, college life and what life might look like after graduation.

Campus jobs also give students a chance to understand what it means to be an employee. Practice clocking in and out and working with a team gives you a chance to step outside of the college experience and understand what a work day looks like.

Some campus jobs, like working for the Office of Communications, student publications, the Office of Admissions and the other offices on campus also gives students a chance to take on more responsibility and work in a more professional setting. These types of jobs are good networking and rŽsumŽ building opportunities.

Students who work for admissions have quite regularly been hired by universities after college to work in admissions offices as a full-time employee. Similarly, some students that have worked for publications like Cellar Door, Catch or The Knox Student have found jobs in publishing, journalism or design after graduating.

Even jobs that don’t offer more career-focused opportunities are valuable. Jobs on or off campus where you are doing grunt or service work gives people an understanding of what it’s like to be less appreciated and learn about customer service. We understand that not all campus jobs are extremely fulfilling. There are some that require student workers to simply sit at a desk, next to the pool or on a phone all day. We have even heard horror stories of students who have been emotionally berated by alumni during their job at the call center, but we all know that not all jobs in our lives will be great. These are all things we will have to deal with at some point.

Student workers work just as hard at campus jobs as they would at any other job, and there’s no reason to look at them as anything other than students. They have some of the best multi-tasking skills of anyone on campus. They have the ability to juggle school, activities, social lives and a jobÑ these are skills that are invaluable for when we all actually join the workforce.

Recognize that getting an education and eventually having other options for where you’ll work is a huge privilege and not everyone has that opportunity. Some people spend their lives working in “unwanted” jobs such as physical labor, retail and service jobs. We have the opportunity to work towards the goals that we want, while making money at the same time. Don’t let that go to waste.

Don’t let going to a liberal arts school or getting esteemed internships get to your head. You are no more important than anyone else because you are going to college and are hoping to get an office job. Working during college gives you an opportunity to see how employment works, meet people who are in a different position than you and recognize your privilege.

Even if you do not have a job or want to get one, respect students who do. Be appreciative and kind to student workers and staff members that are on the job. Making their jobs more difficult by making a mess in the cafeteria or around campus isn’t funny or your right as a student. It’s just creating more stress on the students and employees that are already working hard on campus.

TKS Editorial Board

Tags:  campus discourse editorial embers jobs opportunities

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