Every student at the University understands the seemingly constant lack of enough money, from spending hundreds of dollars on expensive textbooks to that rent payment due on the first of every month, not to mention the money for cable and cell phone bills.
To add to all of this, there is money for beer on the weekends, on coffee late-night study sessions, and on a no. 6 with no mayo from Jimmy John’s at 3 a.m.
There is nothing like piling every credit card receipt on the table late Monday night and realizing you’re going to need to scrounge for pennies underneath the passenger’s seat in your car to be able to make next months rent, only to have a roommate run in saying, “Who wants to make a Meijer run? We’re all out of toilet paper!”
How to solve this seemingly everlasting problem? The automatic answer, it would seem, would be to find a job. However, finding a job which fits one’s needs, wants and time constraints is not as easy as burning 60 bucks at the bar on a Friday night. For those University students who are not lucky enough to be awarded work-study aid, there are still plenty of options available.
Gail Horvath of the University Office of Financial Aid said the Internet is probably the best place to start a job search. The Student Employment Office website (http://www.finaid.umich.edu/employ) lists its contact information for those interested in speaking with a counselor, but also includes a rather lengthy list of available temporary jobs, from retail and food service to house cleaning, lab assistants, yard work and many more.
Horvath said that in the 2000-2001 school year, there were 1,583 jobs posted through the Student Employment Office web site. “Last year (2001-2002), the Student Employment Office processed 13,000 employment forms for U-M students working in Work- Study and non-Work-Study jobs on campus and Work-Study jobs off campus,” she added.
Each job posting lists a detailed job description, pay rate, schedule expectations, recommended job qualifications, contact name and a phone number. Most job listings include a preference for candidates with experience. However, many also state that being hard-working, motivated and friendly are much more important than having previous experience.
Many students also choose to intern, either over the summer or during the school year. Information about internships can be found through the Undergraduate Research Program or the University Career Center. Internships often offer great experience and first hand practice at possible career choices.
Alvina Dourmawan, a first-year graduate student who interned last summer at Kodak in Rochester, N.Y. said, “This was my favorite job. I really learned a lot.”
Also, if a student would like part-time employment at a job which directly correlates to his or her career choice, the medical center and the library system often have jobs available. Searching on the web through www.umich.edu can lead to directories of departments, from kinesiology to psychology, which offer jobs in their fields.
From Main Street to State Street to South University and in between, many stores and restaurants scattered throughout Ann Arbor have “Help Wanted” signs taped to their front doors.
It is often helpful to simply wander the streets of Ann Arbor and stop into workplaces which catch your eye. More often than not, they will have job applications to fill out and managers running around who are usually happy to sit down and tell potential employees their expectations, pay rate, availabilities and benefits.
LSA sophomore Jessica Holzbauer, who works at Bivouac on State Street said, “I saw a “HELP WANTED: OUTDOOR EXPERIENCE” sign on their window.”
“They just asked me if I had outdoor experience; I said yes, and I got the job!” she said.
Searching for a job and then actually finding the job can seem a daunting and challenging task; however, there are resources for help and tips to follow which can make the process less intimidating.
The Career Center, www.cpp.umich.edu, is an excellent place to start. It can often provide students with educational, respectful, flexible and creative help at career planning and placement.
Lynn Sebille-White, assistant director of recruitment services, said although much of the center is based around post-degree careers, Career Center advisors can be of help to part-time job searchers who have questions about how to combine their job choice with future career plans.
“We have walk-in and advising appointments where we can answer all of their questions,” she said.
Although the obvious benefits of a job are clear – a paycheck every other Friday and tip money pocketed every work night – often students, and concerned parents, worry that working during the academic year will hinder performance in classes.
According to information published by the Office of Financial Aid, “compared to students who do not work, studies show that students who work a modest number of hours per week, no more than 15, will, on average have higher grade point averages, graduate at a faster rate, be less likely to drop out and will also have important job skills to include on their resumes.”
However, work-study students are not permitted by the University to work more than 29 hours a week. Many jobs, however, understand the importance of a balance between work and school.
Patrick Brown, manager of Sweetwater Caf