Stomping the Yard: Making the Most of Work-Study

Work-study is designed to allow students to work part-time while attending school. A work-study position on campus can help you fund school, put extra money in your pocket and has the possibility to open many professional doors for you in the future.

First things first; find a campus job that matches your interests. Search your school’s work-study database to find positions that align with your college major or hobbies. There are more than just campus dining jobs available to you.

Finding a work-study job that best fits your interests takes time and research. Make a list of three possible jobs you would enjoy working throughout the academic year. Don’t just pick a job based on how easy it is. Find one that will challenge and encourage you to push forward in your field of study.

I am studying journalism, so when I searched for work-study opportunities, I looked for jobs within the journalism and communications area. Before I decided on what position to apply for I asked myself three critical questions: 1. How will this job benefit me academically and personally? 2. How will working this job prepare me for my future? 3. Do I actually see myself working in this position?

After weighing the pros and cons of each job option, I decided to go with my current role as a clerical assistant at the Missouri School of Journalism’s Dean’s office. I’ve been working at the Dean’s office since the first day of my freshman year, and it has been one of the best decisions I’ve made while in college.

It is very vital that you understand that your work-study experience is more than just a campus job. I’ve found that the more involved and active I am within my job, the more rewarding it can be. Employers notice how well students work and they will recognize and praise them for their dedication. Many of the connections I’ve made on campus and within the Missouri School of Journalism are a result of my employers recognizing my role in their department and the entire campus community.

In addition to making connections with people from all over campus, your work-study role allows you to build relationships with your peers, faculty members and staff. The best part about working at the Dean’s office is being surrounded by positive people who support me in every aspect of my life. I truly believe that they want me to succeed not just at their office, but also academically.

If you allow it to, a work-study job can be a valuable stepping stone for more opportunities on campus and within your major, a chance to create lasting relationships with people you never thought you’d encounter and a way to get involved and have a purpose on your campus.

Char’Nese Turner is a current student at the University of Missouri-Columbia. She is majoring in journalism.