The price of getting paid

Some college students have to give up a lot in order to get a job.

Aditi Pradeep

Employment is an integral part of the college experience. It gives students a chance to pay their own bills, complement their coursework and peek into the real world. However, while students jump through hoops to score an internship or job, there are costs to finding employment in college.

Out-of-state and international students

Employers typically ask if a student can work over the summer, holidays and/or winter break. Working these crucial yet inconvenient days is a plus for many entry-level jobs. However, out-of-state and international students who travel over breaks are at a disadvantage compared to their in-state peers. As a student with family in other parts of the country and abroad, I must decide what is more important: seeing family or working.

Making the grade

Time is an inevitable trade-off in college life. When students don’t have enough time to complete assignments,  they must prioritize tasks. When finals and midterm weeks creep up, the students who prioritize grades may be unable to work or must give up their job altogether. If students can’t get out of work, their grades may suffer.

What can employers do?

Hiring students may be a risk, but employers should know they’re helping out people who truly need the money and/or experience. If employers could give students, especially those from outside Minnesota, more flexibility, the effort would go a long way.

For example, if an employer had a unique schedule during finals week or winter break, then student employees could find the best shifts or tasks for their schedule. 

During college, young people begin to pay their dues. We want to start making our own decisions and becoming financially independent. A job allows us to develop into what kind of person we want to be. If employers don’t give busy, out-of-state or international students a chance, these students may lose out on an integral part of the college experience.

While college life presents unique challenges, working with employers may help students experience the professional world without giving up family or grades.