On-campus jobs give students flexible schedules, experience

Keith Smith, program coordinator of student employment for the Career Exploration and Development office.

Margaret Baah

Almost 80 percent of college students work while they are enrolled, a 2013 ThinkProgress study report states. Being able to balance school work and a job can be stressful.

87 percent of college students felt overwhelmed by all they had to manage in terms of work, school and a social life at least once in the previous year, as stated in a 2018 report by Purdue University Global.

Students at Kent State are not an exception to this study. Finding the right balance between work and school can be immensely helpful.

Isaiah Eaton, a junior journalism major and student-worker, works at Rosie’s Diner in Tri-Towers. He shares the sentiments of most students about the stress of being a student worker.

“It’s hard. It’s just really hard,” Eaton said.

The most stressful thing about being a student worker would be time management, he said. Figuring out how to fit in classes around a work schedule can be a hassle.

High levels of stress could lead to physical symptoms such as frequent headaches, upset stomach and mumbled speech, said Yvette Stupart, clinical counselor and educator, in her article about the effects of stress on academic performance.

High levels of stress reduce students’ ability to concentrate on studies, she said. In addition to a lack of concentration, students also have difficulty memorizing facts and taking tests.

“If you don’t have to work while in school, then don’t,” Eaton said. “I would not work if I did not have to, but I have books and bills to pay.”

His advice would be for students to prioritize their education over feeling like they should be working.

Many students may be in Eaton’s situation or want to avoid said situation. Working on campus can be an option. Students can visit the office of Career Exploration and Development to get help finding a job with a flexible schedule.

Students who work on campus can have their work schedule built around their class schedule each semester, said Keith Smith, the program coordinator for student employment at CED.

“You are a student first,” Smith said. “So we always build work schedules around classes.”

An example of an on-campus job with the needed flexibility is working as a supplementary instruction leader.

An SI leader is a student who provides additional lecture for students outside of normal lecture hours, for those who need more help after sitting through the normal class lecture. The SI leader plans sessions where students come in for further explanation on the topic taught.

For a student to become an SI leader, they must have a schedule that allows them to attend the class they will be assisting, said Rachel Cordy, student supervisor at the Academic Success Center.

“They attend a lecture, and the sessions they facilitate we plan around their schedule,” Cordy said.

For the convenience of SI leaders, their sessions are scheduled either before or after the lecture. Another time is given to students if the lecture time is not convenient for them.

“Planning for their sessions is the most flexible piece of this job,” she said.

As long as they post their session beforehand, students can plan their sessions on or off campus to their convenience. Students have flexibility in working and tailoring their work around classes. 

Sarita Kunde, a sophomore visual communication and design major has a different story. She works with the Student Multicultural Center on campus.

She said working on campus is not stressful because of how flexible work schedules are and how willingly they work with her.

“The time I work would be the time I would be sleeping if I was not working,” Kunde said.

Kunde’s major is time consuming and project-based. Getting a job with flexibility makes her life as a student less stressful, she said.

Finding a job that works around one’s schedule is her advice for students.

Students can go to Flashline and use the Career Exploration and Development office to find jobs on campus with flexible schedules.

Margaret Baah covers jobs and money. Contact her at [email protected]