How to make working on campus work for you

Brittany Brooks _ Tim horotons

Whether you moved to St. Catharines for university or grew up in the area, working on campus is a common staple of the post-secondary experience. Every year there are at least 300 campus jobs shared on CareerZone. For students looking to build a network, gain valuable experience, or simply earn some extra cash, an on-campus job can be a great place to start.

For three years, Dillon Bernier has worked as a Brock Ambassador in the Recruitment and Liaison office. In his role, Bernier provides campus tours and community outreach to prospective Brock students at the Main Campus and the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts.

According to Bernier, one of the main advantages of working on campus is the proximity to lectures, classes and activities at Brock.

“It is really convenient when you have class. I am able to still work after or before my class and then, since I’m on either the Main Campus or downtown at Marilyn I. Walker, I am able to still get to class and make it there on time,” said Bernier. “Also, as a Brock Ambassador and working on campus, my job allows me to be enriched in the variety of campus activities and programs that Brock has to offer on a daily basis. While I am on tours this is a great talking point to future students and parents.”

Sophie Hassanali, who has worked at Student Life and Community Experience as the Marketing and Recruitment Student Coordinator for the past year, echoed Bernier’s sentiments about convenience. Hassanali also cites communication with peers as advantageous.

“Additionally, having the chance to interact with my fellow Badgers in a real and meaningful way has proven to be a perk,” said Hassanali. “The opportunity to make an improvement to a student’s university experience is priceless.”

On campus jobs not only have the ability to connect students with others on campus, but provide the chance to network on a larger scale as well, according to Bernier.

“My job keeps me more than engaged with the larger Brock Community, but also with the surrounding Niagara region,” said Bernier. “I get to interact with not only perspective Brock students, but [also] with professors, students in other programs and students around the university on my tour. As well, being an Ambassador allows myself and my fellow Ambassadors to travel to the Ontario Universities Fair in September to meet, get to know, and talk to students about Brock.”

Working such busy jobs, however, does not inherently interfere with school schedules, according to the two students.

“At the beginning of each semester our boss asks us for our semester schedule and any other commitments we have going on during that particular semester. After he receives our schedules, he makes a semester tour-guide shift schedule. This guarantees us each at least one to two shifts per week,” said Bernier.

Hassanali has had similar experiences with accommodating schedules.

“Management considers our class schedule and allows staff to select their preferred shifts at the beginning of the semester. This prevents any additional stress of trying to accommodate both responsibilities (work and school) during the week,” said Hassanali. “Furthermore, my management understands that school is the first priority for me as I am a student first and an employee second. This means when deadlines, facilitation and other academic obligations require my attention, they accommodate any necessary schedule changes.”

To track her commitments, Hassanali uses an agenda and utilizes nearby academic resources when on campus.

“Time management is key in keeping a healthy balance between school and work,” said Hassanali. “I must mention working on campus allows me to be in close proximity to the resources I might require for a project such as the library, computer and printing labs and A-Z Learning Services. Having easy access to these resources definitely helps managing my school workload.”

Bernier, an aspiring teacher, maintains that his experience working on campus will transfer not only to academics but to his future work and employability.

“Our entire role is based on providing great customer service, being personable, sharing experiences and showing our love for Brock. I feel that the customer service skills I’ve gained thus far have taught me how to handle and navigate my way through a difficult question or scenario I have been in, and how to properly approach a question,” said Bernier. “Being able to share my personal experiences has given me more opportunities to push myself to join clubs, attend sporting events and arts gatherings to continue to expand on my knowledge about what Brock has to offer. This has also allowed me to gain more experience on my Experience BU Co-Curricular transcript – which will help in the future for employability.”

Hassanali maintains that her experiences are applicable to a variety of potential jobs in the future.

“The HR, customer service, experiential learning, interpersonal and professional skills I have acquired during my position at SLCE will prove to be an asset to both my resume and as a young professional. These skills are transferable into whatever career path I choose,” said Hassanali.

The experiences of Bernier and Hassanali were overwhelmingly positive, though they represent only a small fraction of those who work on campus. Individual experiences may vary.

Students looking to find employment on campus can utilize CareerZone to search for and apply to locations that are hiring on campus.

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