Studies have shown that students who work during college actually do better in the classroom. Students who work must learn how to structure and manage their time to work around class assignments. This translates into not delaying assignments and scheduling time to study for exams. However, many experts suggest that freshmen students wait until the second semester to take on the added responsibility of a job. This allows them time to ascertain their academic strengths and decide whether or not a job would detract from their study time.

When college students do decide to work, there are three options available to them: on-campus jobs, off-campus jobs and internships. Each of these job opportunities has its own set of advantages.

On-campus jobs

Working on campus gives the college student the best of both worlds: the on-campus convenience and job flexibility. Most on-campus employers understand the constraints of the college student and are willing to work with their schedules. This gives the student the opportunity to balance their schoolwork and work schedule while working for pay.

If you are looking for a job on campus, there are five avenues you should explore:

  1. Campus websites—Today every university has an online database listing all the jobs available on campus. You can easily log on to your college website and search for the job in the category that interests you.
  2. Department offices—Every university department has an office where the professors and students go to perform various tasks related to their individual departments. Many times professors will post jobs available within their departments in these offices on a job board or a departmental job site.
  3. Career Services—Although these offices concentrate more on post-graduation jobs, they are hotspots of activity. They often have a list of jobs that are available on the university level as well.
  4. Student Union—Student activity means that you might hear about a job while you’re in there. Additionally, there are usually numerous boards that often have job opportunities posted.
  5. Word of Mouth—Ask professors, teachers’ aids, and seniors to give you ideas of jobs that might be available. If you make the right connection, you could also get a recommendation that might help you snag the job.

Off-campus jobs

Jobs off campus might be a bit more difficult to find, especially if you are new to the area and unfamiliar with the businesses around campus. Additionally, if you don’t have transportation, you might want to consider working somewhere within walking distance of campus.

Here are a few suggestions to help with the off campus job search:

  1. Check bulletin boards at local businesses—Many businesses (coffee shops, grocery stores, bookstores) have boards that allow local businesses to post business cards or job openings. Scour these boards for job opportunities.
  2. Pick up the local paper or look online—Most cities still publish a local paper (at least electronically) with job postings. You can often find job opportunities by searching the want ads.
  3. Do a search on Craigslist.org—Many cities have local Craigslist sites with “Help Wanted” sections. Explore any part-time opportunities that might be posted.
  4. CollegeHelpers.com—This is a website that posts part time jobs in affiliation with the colleges. It’s free for students and you can search the jobs related to your area.

Internships

Paid internships are a great way to not only get some income, but they provide you with the job experience you will need upon graduation. Internships are usually for upper classmen, but many companies see the value in employing inexperienced college students and keeping them after graduation.

You can search in three places to find that paid internship:

  1. Company websites—Look at the company websites in your field of interest. Many companies list internship opportunities on their sites, along with instructions on how to apply.
  2. Department offices—Department heads often receive notice from companies willing to employ college students for internships. Checking with this office will give you leads and a list of available internships.
  3. CollegeMonster.com—This site is geared toward college students, posting paid internships. It also provides information on job interviewing and job searching.

Whether you are looking for a job to supplement your spending money,  you need one to help pay for college, or you want to boost your resume with job experience, you should be able to find a job using the suggestions above.

Are you considering a job while you attend college? Have you worked during college? Please leave your comment and share your experiences with our readers.

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