Working a part-time job throughout college can benefit some students, yet many at the University of Rhode Island are not taking advantage of the opportunities available to them, or are unaware of what’s out there.
At URI, there are various on-campus job opportunities for students, which range from working for campus recreation, for the campus store, dining services, housing and residential life, lifeguarding, working in the chemistry stockroom, Rams Den, the mail room or being a URI 101 mentor.
Rhodynet, which is URI’s career platform that is powered by Handshake, is a website that students are directed to in order to connect with employers, find jobs, determine their eligibility for federal work study and to find job opportunities.
Federal work-study provides part-time jobs for students in order to help pay for their education while in school.
The Center for Career and Experiential Education (CCEE) is a resource which connects students directly to an advisor in their major who can offer valuable insight on job opportunities available for them, resume help, drop-in advising and help them become more appealing to potential employers in the real world.
Kim Stack, a director of Career and Experiential Education, has been working at URI for over 20 years. She started as an admissions advisor and moved into her current role at the CCEE in 2013.
Stack’s role is to oversee the entire center. The CCEE is worked by clusters that look at students in similar majors and advise on pathways to take in a certain career.
“I don’t think students come to college with the language of college” said Stack. “We try to get them logging into Rhodynet to have access to internships both in and out of state.”
Resources such as LinkedIn or Rhodynet are often overlooked by many students who are not aware of these tools available to them. By attending a career fair held by the CCEE, students can fully take advantage of the resources offered here at URI to find a job on campus or a job after college.
Stack says that students must first decide if they want an on-campus job. They then can decide how many hours they want to work. As a full-time undergraduate student, a maximum of 20 hours per week is allotted for a part-time job. Any part time job can be partly or fully funded by wages coming from federal work study money, depending on the needs of the particular student.
Stack said, “People create their identity through the work that they do.”
Working 20 hours on top of being a full-time college student can seem daunting to many students, causing them to miss on-campus employment opportunities that can help foster useful life skills and add to a resume.
One particular on-campus job that some students identify with is being a Resident Assistant (RA). RA’s supervise and support students living in on-campus residence halls.
“Lots of people don’t realize that a lot of work goes into being an RA,” said Kendra Walsh, who is currently in her third year of being an RA in Hillside Hall. “It takes the right person to do the job.”
Walsh also noted that she believes many people get scared to apply to be an RA due to the responsibility, training and the possibility of having to deal with uncomfortable or complex issues with residents. Because of this, she said some students don’t think about a lot of the enjoyable aspects of the job, such as being a resource for students and giving them a comfortable home away from home.
“All students should try to have a part-time job on campus because you learn important skills and are held more accountable for things because you are accountable for something else,” Walsh said.