Students considering temporary or work-study employment should not feel their search is limited to merely slopping food to hungry students in the South Quad Residence Hall cafeteria.
In addition to earning money toward educational and living expenses, some student employment opportunities can provide rare experiences that are unique to the University community.
According to the University’s Student Employment Office, the most popular student jobs include library assistants, recreational assistants, residence hall service workers and research assistants, said Susan Fisher-George, senior financial aid officer. However, some of the more unusual job opportunities – which range from baking bread in the Michigan League to nude modeling in the School of Art – are often overlooked and lost in the employment listings. More than 1,500 jobs were posted on the SEO website last academic year.
As a figure drawing model, Ann Arbor resident Kaite Ripple performs natural life poses for figure drawing and painting classes. Duration of poses may vary from a series of short “gesture” poses of two to five minutes, to longer poses of 20 to 30 minutes. Models are paid $10 per hour.
At first, Ripple was apprehensive about posing nude in front of a classroom of art students. “I decided that I was comfortable with it so I decided to do it. Since then my attitude toward my own nudity changed totally,” Ripple said.
Jan Dryden, figure model supervisor in the School of Art, said that people of all ages and body types are encouraged to apply.
“It takes a particular type of person to feel that they can handle this type of job,” Dryden said.
University alum Ronnie Order’s undergraduate years were spent as a museum docent at the University’s Exhibit Museum of Natural History. His job required him to give guided museum tours and answer questions from visiting elementary and middle school students.
Order’s favorite part of the job – pay starts at $7 per hour – was getting kids excited about science through teaching.
“Being in the museum atmosphere is by far the best part of it,” Order said. “You’re constantly surrounded by knowledge.”
Exclusive of the work-study program, many students have also earned money as paid research participants. Research trials in the Department of Psychology and Medical School frequently call for people to serve as research subjects, which can pay participants anywhere from $7 to $300, depending on time commitment and intricacy of the testing.
Kinesiology junior Phil Hoffer participated in a psychology study on Asian men which required him to complete a series of tests and questionnaires.
“It’s a good amount of money for not a lot of work. It only took two hours of my time,” said Hoffer, who was recompensed with $25. “It’s better than most jobs since it’s only a one-time thing.”
The Student Employment website also offers jobs which are non-University positions. A number of postings for non-profit community service agencies and businesses in the Ann Arbor area make up a sizeable portion of opportunities listed on the website.
Work-study is a federally based financial aid program. In order to qualify for work-study, students must complete the Free Application For Student Aid and demonstrate financial need. Financial need is not required to apply for temporary positions.