U assists students with job hunt

by Stacy Jo

Although college students are infamous for their lack of cash flow, there is one simple solution to easing those empty-pocket woes: getting a job.
The University’s Job Center, located in 170 Donhowe on the Minneapolis campus and 130 Coffey Hall on the St. Paul campus, offers students assistance in filling nearly 10,000 on-campus and 6,000 off-campus positions each year.
Students can access the list of available positions — beginning at $6.50 per hour for on-campus jobs — via the center’s job board or its Web site, both of which are updated each afternoon.
Broken down into 11 categories, including arts & communication, science & engineering and clerical & administrative, the list allows students to focus their job search on specific areas of interest.
Students complete employment applications at either of the Job Center sites. After a student compiles a list of job numbers, a center staff member confirms that the student is registered for the appropriate number of credits, then reviews the job qualifications. If the student is still interested in the positions, a staff member provides job referrals for the student to set up interviews with prospective employers.
Laura Negrini, Job Center coordinator, said staff members usually recommend that students work 20 hours or fewer per week. She said students who work typically perform better than those who do not because they learn time-management skills.
Negrini said the largest number of jobs are available at the beginning of fall quarter, which she called the busiest time of year for the center. She said students should not be discouraged if they don’t land a job on their first attempt.
“Be persistent. Keep searching until you find a match,” Negrini said.
Dr. Andrea Olson, associate director at the University’s Institute of Technology Center for Educational Programs, works with more than 100 student employees each year. She said she is impressed by interviewees who provide a description of not only their experience, but also the skills applicable to the position.
Olson said students should remember that they are students first and foremost, and should not let an overload of work hours interfere with classes.
“Explore which options are available late in the day, early in the morning and on weekends,” Olson said.
Darren Commerford, University employee and a senior in the University’s College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, said working on campus is a convenient way to combine school and work in one central setting.
“You get to interact with other people your age, people in the same situation,” Commerford said.