Employment on Campus
by Kasey Mathews | published Sep. 10th, 2020
Over 12,000 students at RIT held some form of on-campus employment in Spring 2020. These numbers indicate a number of things, foremost of which is that RIT is a campus full of job opportunities.
Whether you want an on-campus job due to financial instability, to gain extra cash or just as a way to keep from getting bored, RIT has a number of options.
Types of Employment
There are many different places to work on campus, with a variety of environments and responsibilities. Some of the most popular include positions in RIT’s dining locations, notetaking and various office jobs throughout the campus. You can see Handshake for the full listing of positions available.
At RIT’s dining locations, there are almost always positions available. It’s likely the best place to start if you’ve never held a job before or are looking for a more straight-forward position. While there are learning opportunities, like developing an understanding of food safety, the position overall is largely focused on the growth of existing skills. Dining employees are able to hone their time management, customer service and task management skills through these positions. Dining positions often serve as a springboard for future employment opportunities both on and off campus.
Some student dining employees leverage their freshly developed skillsets when applying to other jobs. Others continue with their dining employment and become student managers, allowing them to further grow their managerial skills.
Many students also have notetaking positions. These positions are uncommon in public K–12 schools but at RIT, they’re crucial. Because of the large population of deaf and hard-of-hearing students, as well as students with learning disabilities, notetakers are essential.
A notetaker works for the Access Services office. Their role is to attend classes and take thorough notes. Deaf and hard-of-hearing students especially find difficulty taking notes during class due to the need to redirect their visual focus from the lecture to their notetaking. This can create a language barrier as they’re unable to listen and write at the same time. This way, for those who are unable to take notes and pay attention to the lecture, there is less worry and stress.
Becoming a notetaker can be a little tricky, as you need someone in your class to require notetaking services. If there is a student that requires notetaking, the Access Services office will reach out to students in that class to offer them a notetaking position. Preference is given to those students already in their system as previous notetakers, and the position allows you to earn money while attending class. Just be sure the notes you take are thorough and easily understood!
Beyond this, there are many office jobs around campus. In fact, most major offices on campus employ student workers in some capacity, whether it’s filing paperwork, creating beautifully branded graphics or entering data. Many offices rely on the help of their student workers to ensure the best level of service to the RIT community.
Benefits of Working on Campus
For those without a mode of transportation, working on campus is a no-brainer. It allows students to reach their jobs without having to worry about how they’ll get there.
Students who do have transportation, however, may be weighing their options. But there are certainly some benefits to working a job on campus, as noted by Julie Mayfield in her U.S. News article.
“No one understands the demands on a college student quite like campus employers,” she said.
While working on campus, employers know and understand that college comes first — and that doesn’t stop at just scheduled classtime.
Many places on campus are very flexible with their hours, understanding that there’s much more to a college student than the time they spend listening to lectures. There are group projects and all-nighters to be had. Beyond that, many students are involved in extracurricular activities, such as clubs or athletics. And some students just need some time to themselves to care for their mental health.
Many students also receive a Work Study benefit as part of their financial aid package. This money is provided to them through their on-campus employment and can be a great help paying for college. Of course, be sure to fill out your FAFSA to see if you qualify.
Finally, on-campus employers are typically very in tune with the world of academia, as well as their own respective fields. They can serve as great references for applications to graduate school, doctoral studies or future employment opportunities. A university receives recognition by ensuring its students are successful, so to work as a student employee practically guarantees that your supervisor will have your best interests in mind — because your best interest is in their best interest!
Students are eligible for on-campus employment if they are registered for a full-time courseload. That means taking at least 12 credits as an undergraduate student, or nine credits as a graduate.
If you qualify, begin your search! To find a listing of jobs offered on campus, visit the Handshake page and filter by “on-campus.”
Keep in mind, some positions may not be listed on Handshake. Ask around! Talk to faculty and staff in different departments to see if they know of any openings. From research assistants to marketing coordinators, you never know what might come up.
After you find a position, apply. You may need a resume, portfolio, writing sample or something else. Feel free to reach out to the Career Services and Co-op Office for help in perfecting your application materials, or ask advisers or faculty for help. You can also use a checklist like the one found on the Career Services website.
If and when you receive an interview, be sure to have a good understanding of the position and its responsibilities. Dress professionally; don't wear sweatpants and a hoodie. Following the interview, be sure to thank the interviewer.
If you receive an offer for a position, talk to the Student Employment Office (SEO) to receive your SEO card. You’ll need to complete your I-9 form, as required by the government. Once that’s done, be sure your hiring paperwork is filled out, communicate your schedule to your supervisor and prepare yourself for the position.
Student Leadership Positions
Aside from more formal employment opportunities, there are also several student leadership positions available around campus. Many of these positions are paid (most often through a stipend) and offer valuable leadership experience.
Examples include Student Government, New Student Orientation, Global Union, WITR and even Reporter.
Student leadership positions allow students to get involved in the campus community, advocate for the student body and provide various services to their peers.
These positions typically go unlisted on Handshake; so if you’re interested in working in a student leadership capacity, reach out to that office and ask around!
Finding a job in college can seem like a daunting task, but RIT has plenty to offer. Use this as an opportunity to explore a passion, try out different things and earn some rent money (or weekend pizza money) while you’re at it!