On-campus job market for students best in 20 years


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With the high expenses that come with college, students usually need to have a job. Luckily for students at Central Michigan University, on-campus resources make that easy.

Jon Goodwin, manager of Student Employment Services said about 4,000 students at CMU work on-campus jobs every semester. 

The largest employers at CMU are Campus Dining, University Recreation, the Charles V. Park Library, Facilities Management and University Events.

As of Jan. 5, there were 47 jobs vacant on the Student Employment Services website. Campus Dining had the most available positions with 14. University Recreation followed with six and the Park Library seeking to fill three.

Goodwin added the off-campus job market dictates the on-campus market, and recently it has been the best market in 20 years. He said if someone gets a job off-campus more suited for their field of study, that opens up an on-campus job that keeps the job turnover going.

Although students can apply throughout the year, Goodwin encourages them to apply for jobs a few months before the semester they want to work during. Though the number fluctuates, he said there is about 15 to 30 postings on the Student Employment Services website, www.ses.cmich.edu, throughout the semester.

“It’s always a good time to look, the job market on campus is really good,” he said. “Even if you start looking mid-semester, as long as you're diligent, you’re probably not going to have much trouble finding a job.”

To apply for a job on campus there are two methods Student Employment Services recommend. The first is going to its website and looking through the "current vacant positions” tab. There, students can find all the information and instructions for the position. 

Job applications vary by department.

The second way is to approach a desired employer in person. Goodwin said if students don’t see a posting in a department they would like to work in, they should talk to the person who is in charge of hiring.

Goodwin noted that Campus Dining is the one department on campus that prefers applications to be online only. 

When students are having trouble finding a job they feel best fits them, Goodwin advised keeping an open mind during the search. 

“Be persistent and go forward with the understanding that you may not find exactly what you want,” he said. “If you’re willing to work, if you’re willing to have that job that you don’t think is perfect for you, then you’re going to do OK in your job search.”

CMU’s policy for student employees is a maximum of 50 hours in a two-week pay period during the academic school year and 80 hours in the summer two-week pay period. Most students usually work about nine-to-10 hours a week, Goodwin said.

While working on-campus not only provides a monetary benefit, Goodwin said it can provide improvements in academics and social skills.

“(It will) help students with their time management skills. Anything that’s going to help them have a better GPA will in turn put them in a good position with an employer when they’re out looking for their career job,” he said. “It (also) helps with socialization. I think a lot of students find the workplace is an oasis away from the grind of academics to some degree.” 

Beal City sophomore Tucker Gross has been working at the CMU Bookstore since the summer before his freshman year. Gross works as an office clerk and learned about the job from knowing people who already worked there.

For Gross he knew he needed a job and was drawn to on-campus employment because of the "convenience factor" it has.

“The flexibility that it has, the fact that you know you'll never have a conflict (with school) and they can work with your schedule," Gross said.

For Warren junior Claire Koniezko, a major element in working at the CMU Bookstore has also been the advantage on being on campus and being able to walk to class from work. Koniezko encouraged students to work on campus because employers are accommodating to their academics. 

“To have a job you just engage in the give and take of the adult world every day,” Goodwin said. “So I think all of those things work together and give students an understanding of the discipline and dedication it takes to have success.”

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Editor-in-Chief Emma Dale is a junior from Grand Haven double majoring in journalism and political ...

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