Job center has referrals for thousands of jobs

by Scott Vander

Peter Gerdts, a history and political science junior, recently quit his warehouse job. He said he hoped to find research or work related to his majors that might prove valuable on a future resume.
Sitting at a computer terminal in the University Job Center, Gerdts said he was impressed with the abundance of job opportunities as well as the ease of finding a job.
“The computer system works well. You’re able to get to a lot of jobs easily,” he said.
The University Job Center can help a student or faculty member looking for employment find work to combine with one’s academic disciplines.
Located inside the Donhowe Building on the corner of University and 15th avenues, the center assists students and staff with financing their education as well as enhancing their academic endeavors.
There were about 6,000 off-campus jobs and about 10,000 on-campus jobs offered through the Job Center last year, said Laura Negrini, the center’s coordinator. To make job hunting easier, possible positions are categorized from arts and communications to science and engineering.
Several improvements, such as the addition of a Web-based system, have made job-hunting less stressful.
“Since then, it has become much more streamlined and simplified,” said Norma Peterson, the center’s director.
Student and staff positions are readily available, with information such as department, wages and location, accessible on the Internet.
The wealth of jobs also allows students to work near their residence.
“Many students want to work where they live,” Peterson said.
She also said employers are also enjoying the opportunity for student employment, and employers and employees generally find themselves in a comfortable, casual environment.
“It adds a nice component to the work place,” she said.
As an initiative for incoming students, a recently developed program guarantees freshman on-campus employment. In a collaboration between the offices of admissions and human resources, the center began the Freshman Job Guarantee Program in 1998 and has since found success.
By attending a job fair in fall, those interested in the program will find they will be hired on the spot. More than 1,700 freshmen were accepted into the program in 1999 and that number is expected to increase for the fall of 2000.
To obtain a job, Peterson encourages students to “represent themselves well.” Not only should a student show up on time and communicate well, but should maintain those behaviors.