Uncommon college jobs offer one-on-one experiences

Any student visiting a dining hall is immediately notified that Culinary Services is hiring. Every occupant of the dorm is all too familiar with the Resident Assistant, or RA, positions. While many on-campus jobs are well known, college student employment extends far beyond the mailrooms and Alden Library.

Madeline Thomas, a sophomore in journalism, is a student who has a job at Ohio University that many people never see: working at the music and dance library at Glidden Hall.

“When I’m not doing my homework, I’m checking books, recording books, or storing CDs — anything to do with music,” Thomas said.

Thomas has worked at the library since August 2021 and said she enjoys working in a place that many students don’t know.

“Nobody knows, so it’s kind of fun to be like, ‘Hey, I’ve got this work in a little secret library. Come visit me. It’s tiny and cute, and it’s quiet,'” Thomas said, “You can hear the violinists playing in the rehearsal rooms, and it’s so cool to hear that because it’s like a little concert just for you.”

Often positions go unnoticed because they serve a smaller community, such as International Student and Faculty Services, or ISFS, peer guidance counsellors. Raijai Franklin, a senior child and family studies student, fills the position for ISFS and also works as a reception assistant for the office.

The role helps international students settle into OU, providing online support before students arrive on campus. ISFS guidance peer counselors help new international students complete their employment paperwork, provide off-campus housing assistance, and show them around campus and Athens.

“This position opened me up to the world of an international student,” Franklin said in an email. “I help international students acclimate to life at Ohio University and point them in the right direction. As an American student, this was a truly eye-opening experience.

Although Franklin is American, she has worked closely with international students. She said the position tends to be filled by students who have gone through the international orientation.

When an on-campus job hires people it already knows, it creates a smaller employment pool, which can add to unfamiliarity from unaffiliated students. Erin Peterson, a junior science and communication disorders student, is employed by OU in another little-known position, which she got as a housing and residence life employee.

Peterson works at the intersection of housing and residence living and COVID operations, running rounds and stocking inventory in COVID-19 quarantine rooms.

Peterson said her job consists of twice-daily rounds, during which she spends her hour-long shift organizing clean and dirty linens for quarantined students, restocking supplies and generally making sure the isolated students have everything they need.

“I know that if I was still in the halls of residence in first or second year, I would want someone to check and make sure the temperature in the building is correct, that the water is flowing well, in just making sure they put me in a safe environment, especially when you have COVID and you’re already stressed out,” Peterson said. “I just thought it would be a good job to have.”

Peterson said she had a wonderful experience with everyone she worked with, though she notes that the staff for this job is small. Supervised by two university employees, Peterson shares inventory responsibilities with just one other student, and the pair rotates several times a week. She said the job was working well for her, but added that expanding the staff could allow them to do more rounds.

“Especially with Omicron becoming more apparent, COVID Operations is becoming a bigger, employable team,” Peterson said. “I feel like my work is probably not even known to students.”

Despite the COVID-19 work environment, Peterson said the OU has done a good job of getting her to safety, allowing her to focus on making sure students who have contracted the virus are living comfortably. .

“They made sure we felt safe and had a way to express our concerns to them,” Peterson said. “They are always very welcoming with ideas or concerns. I am happy to have the job that I have.

Little-known student positions can often employ a small number of employees, but there are plenty of jobs to choose from. From student videographer positions to grounds maintenance jobs to summer conference assistants, there’s a job for everyone. For on-campus jobs currently hiring, visit the online student job listings.



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