Three Kent State students share their different job experiences

Ryan Weber, a senior aeronautics major, poses in front of one of the types of new planes that the College of Applied Engineering has bought. Weber is a registered flight instructor, in addition to his degree. Photo by Jacob Byk.

Megan Corder

Kent State plans to limit the number of hours its student employees can work from 32 to 28 hours by May 12 for the year’s summer employment period. Although the number of hours students can work will be capped, the university will still have more than 7,000 on-campus student job positions to choose from. Not all of these jobs are 9-to-5 office jobs or involve foodservice. The university offers alternative jobs for students such as flight instructors, student mentors and late-night desk attendants.

Student employment is also not restricted to minimum wage pay. Ami Hollis, associate director of the Career Services Center, said flight instructor is one of the highest-paid student jobs at Kent State, along with student managers and web designers. She said she encourages students to stop by the Career Services website or office if they are interested in university job opportunities.

Ryan Weber, certified flight instructor

Ryan Weber, senior flight technology major, is a certified flight instructor at Kent State. Weber gives individualized lessons to students enrolled in the flight technology courses.

“The instructing that we do at the airport is one-on-one teaching,” Weber said.

Students are taught airport etiquette, the expectations of being a pilot and other important information related to their field.

“You go through all the courses, you learn how to teach and then you start teaching those same courses that you did just a few months ago,” Weber said.

Weber said he went through the same course as a student before teaching.

Student certified flight instructors teach the class how to act as pilots, which includes how to act at an airport and what is considered professional behavior.

Weber said pilots are also expected to look presentable while on the job. He said being a flight instructor is more of a lifestyle, and those in the field have to be fully dedicated to do well.

“Once I got sucked into it, all the rest of the world just doesn’t seem real to me sometimes,” Weber said. “Sometimes I am just so consumed in flying and teaching I am just in my own little bubble.”

Emily Kaelin, student desk worker

Emily Kaelin, sophomore visual journalism major, works at an area desk in the Stopher Johnson honors residence halls.

“I work at the Quad Desk, which is where all of the area students will go to pick up their mail, get packages and a lockout or temporary key,” Kaelin said. “We are there to help them out.”

The area desk workers at Kent State help students around the clock, based on students’ needs in their sections of campus. Kaelin said she was drawn to the position because of its convenience and flexibility.

“It was perfect for me,” Kaelin said. “We are always there trying to help because we know everybody has different schedules.”

Area desk workers don’t work the typical 9-to-5 shift. The workers are given different shifts and hours throughout the day and night. Kaelin said she enjoys the variety of the hours the position offers.

“I work about nine hours in the week, and on the weekend it is about 10 or 12 hours,” Kaelin said. “We can work there until we graduate. It is nice that we grow with [the position].”

Cindy Deng, Provost’s Leadership Academy mentor

Cindy Deng, sophomore public relations major, works as a mentor for the Provost’s Leadership Academy. Deng served on the Provost’s Leadership Academy last year and applied to be a mentor after graduating from the program. Deng said she loves the opportunity to work with other students.

“What I do is I brainstorm with a bunch of freshmen [who are] working to better the Kent State University campus,” Deng said. “I help with their leadership skills. Anything that can help prepare them to be a leader in their career field.”

Deng said that she thinks the mentor position and training has improved her skills as a student and a leader.

“We have our own assigned students,” Deng said. “One of our main purposes as [mentors] is to actually overlook our students to make sure that they are aligned and know what they are doing.”

Deng said the most rewarding part of the position is the impact it has on campus.

“It is breaking down the things and making something happen that you could potentially change for the campus,” Deng said.

Contact Megan Corder at [email protected].