Student workers can be found all over campus, whether they are ringing up snacks at Weshop, checking out books at Olin, or whipping up lattes in Pi Café.

Many of them are part of the University’s work-study program, in which students obtain jobs at various campus venues as a form of financial aid—in this case, half of their salary is paid for by federal funds. Student workers who are not part of the work-study program have chosen to work on campus for other reasons, such as wanting to find a way to fill too much free time or doing something profitable and enjoyable.

“I am definitely satisfied with my job,” said Ariana La Porte ’10, who has worked at Pi Café for most of this year. “I worked at a café during high school and loved it. It was really nice to be able to continue along the same lines here.”

For many students, having a job on campus is a great way to see a lot of other students and meet new people.

“I really like the social atmosphere of Pi,” La Porte said. “I like the idea of having a job that is interactive rather than one where I would just sit behind a desk.”

“I really love my job now because I see and meet so many people,” said Doris Martinez ’10, who works during late night at Summerfields. “I walk around campus and I see a lot more familiar faces. This experience really encouraged me to become more social and because of that, I was able to make friends with a lot more people.”

The University offers multitudes of jobs that suit the diverse range of student interests on campus. Some students choose to work in an area that is of particular interest to them—such as with ITS, where students can work at the computer help desk—while others specifically search out a place where they can get away from the subjects they study all year long. For many students, convenience was a motivator in deciding where they wanted to apply to work.

“Working at the front desk in Olin was a great opportunity for me because it provided me with a way to balance schoolwork and a job,” said Jonna Humphries ’10. “It’s really nice because I can be productive and get homework done during lulls at the library when not many people are checking out books. I was really lucky to get the job because I feel like so many people want to work at the desk in Olin.”

Like other students, Anthony Martello ’10, was disappointed when he found out that all of the desk jobs were taken by the time he applied.

“Students often find the desk jobs at Olin or Freeman appealing because they go there frequently and often see the worker doing homework,” said Assistant Director of Financial Aid, Sean Martin. “But a lot of those jobs are harder than they may initially appear and there are also so many other great alternatives around campus.”

Martello, for example, ended up getting a job shelving books at Olin instead of working at the front desk. For him, shelving actually turned out to be a good option.

“I feel like we are really lucky to have such an extensive library, and I’m glad I’ve had the opportunity to become a bit more acquainted with how things there work,” Martello said.

Administrators also stress the importance of student jobs on campus.

“In the case of financial aid students, it’s a component of their financial aid award and what we refer to as ‘self-help,’” Martin said. “Wesleyan believes that students should be active participants in financing their own education. In addition to the obvious financial benefit, it is an opportunity for students to gain meaningful work experience…A number of the jobs offered around campus are very specific, and the workers hold a great deal of responsibility. The talents that students bring to the table are absolutely invaluable to us.”

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