Kent businesses try to work around college students’ schedules

Danielle Johnson

It can be challenging for college students to find jobs that will work around their rigorous class schedules, internships and student organizations.

When a business is in a college town, the managers don’t have much of a choice but to try and work around these hectic schedules.

“We are located in a college town, that is where all of our applicants come from,” said Henry Johnson, ACME Fresh Market store director.

Running a business in a town that is populated with college students comes with some obstacles. Some include scheduling around students’ activities and classes when they all seem to fall on the same days and times.

“It is a challenge trying to work around their schedules,” said Johnson. “It seems like everyone is unavailable on the same days and they usually have classes in the mornings,”

Johnson said that availability means everything when he is looking at applications.

“It all depends on the student when it comes to how many hours a week they can work,” said Johnson, “Some can work more than 20 hours, some less.”

When scheduling classes, students that need to have a job should consider what availability is the most desirable to their employer and try to work around that to maximize the number of hours they can work a week.

There are off-campus businesses that only hire students and must have flexible enough hours that can work around any college schedule. Kent’s bus service, PARTA, is one of the most flexible with a student’s busy life.

“All of our campus routes are driven by college students,” said Katherine Manning, PARTA director of planning, “We have a contract with Kent State, and we want to continue to have a good relationship with the community.”

Manning said the hours of a campus bus driver are flexible and they are always looking to hire Kent State students. Not only do student bus drivers get to choose their shifts, but they also get to choose how many hours a week they want to work.

“The scheduling is actually pretty awesome. We are required to work at least 12 hours a week, and we get to choose our own shifts,” said Robert Devoll, senior political science major, and PARTA bus driver. “I work 28.5 hours a week, which is on the higher end.”

The driving shifts are split into two hour blocks that start a 6 a.m. and run until 11 p.m.

“This makes it really easy to schedule shifts around classes or anything else we have going on,” said Devoll.

PARTA not only works around students’ schedules well, but they also have a lot more to offer and you can get promoted within the company.

“We have a competitive pay and scholarship programs for our student bus drivers,” said Manning, “One employee of mine started as a bus driver and now works in planning.”

Many college students need to be able to maintain a job while in school, so it is helpful to know there are local businesses that are willing to work around their schedules.