The Pros & Cons of On and Off-Campus Jobs (Part 2)

By: Whitney

Throughout my time in college I have experienced the unique aspects, triumphs and challenges, of both on and off-campus jobs. Previously, I covered a few pros and cons of on-campus jobs, and as I love sharing my learning experiences, I have also compiled a list of a few pros and cons of off-campus jobs for round two.

Off-campus jobs

PROS OF OFF-CAMPUS JOBS

  1. Wages could potentially be higher than on-campus jobs
    Again, this varies from job to job, but chances are greater that an off-campus job will pay more than minimum wage.
  2. Gets you off campus
    I LOVE my campus! But let’s be honest, when you haven’t left it for a while you can start to get a little cabin feverish. People from back home ask you what things are like in your college’s surrounding city and you wonder if you even know anymore. Working off-campus is one way to get you out and about in the surrounding community. Also, any job is great for networking, but off-campus jobs provide an excellent way to network with people in the surrounding community.
  3. There could be more opportunities for a job related to your field of interest
    If you find a job related to your field, it is a great way to see if this is really the field for you. Working in an afterschool program/daycare I got A LOT of unexpected and great hands on experience with child and school psychology work. I would not trade what I learned there for anything, but I also found out that working with kids daily can be draining, and it helped me decide if I wanted to do that kind of work as a career. Jobs can solidify your choices, give you more to think about, and if you decide you want to go in a different direction that is invaluable knowledge as well.

CONS OF OFF-CAMPUS JOBS

  1. Scheduling could be more difficult
    Off-campus jobs do not automatically take time off for school breaks, and you might be competing for time off with other co-workers during these times or high-stress weeks like finals week. I recommend asking for time off well in advance when possible. Although each job has varying levels of flexibility. My job in retail was more flexible with scheduling than my daycare job, which was scheduled five days a week for the same block of time each day.
  2. Transportation
    With an off-campus job you are going to need reliable transportation, whether it be by car or by bus. Commute times might be longer, which also takes time out of your day. My commute to my off-campus job was 20 minutes one way. Which adds up to a little over three hours a week. I did not mind it, but I could have also used that time to study, be part of a club, or hang out with friends throughout freshman year. Also, my freshman year I got in a car accident that totaled my car. I had to find rides to my off-campus job for a few weeks until I could get a new car. Needless to say, the ordeal was a hassle, and there were a few times I had to call in saying I couldn’t come in simply because I couldn’t find a ride that day. (I hope this never happens to you, but it was an eye-opening experience of just how important reliable transportation truly is in daily life).
  3. Shifts will probably be longer
    Because on-campus jobs are generally more flexible and close, you could potentially fit the same number of hours in in-between classes over shorter shifts than with an off-campus job. Shifts for work off-campus will probably be in four or eight hour blocks of time, which mean that your time management may need to be tighter.

WHAT NOW?
All things considered, working during school, whether on-campus or off, can be a beneficial experience. Both give you great knowledge and skills, build your resume, and teach time management. Of the two, one is not inherently “better” than the other. One may just fit your needs better than the other. Each person has their own amount of activities they can put on their plate without being overly stressed. So, look at what you need. Maybe you need the greater flexibility afforded by an on-campus job because you are involved in campus clubs and organizations too, or you want more time to study and still have time to sleep and hang out with friends. Maybe you really want to get involved in the surrounding community, so you go for an off-campus job. You are also going to want to consider the job itself.

Your needs/wants may also change down the line and you can always change what you are doing. The most important thing is that you enjoy the job you are doing and are still able to have the work-life balance you want.

Read Whitney’s other posts

Photo Source: Unsplash | Breather

Pros & Cons of On and Off-Campus Jobs (Part 1)

By: Whitney

Before college, I had little direct experience with the working world. Sure, I babysat for neighbors and my little brothers’ friends, but college is really where I jumped in. The process was daunting at first, but I knew I wanted (and needed) to work. Coming into college, I was against the idea of me working an on-campus job. I thought it would be weird to work where I went to school and I liked having my life compartmentalized. I had an off-campus job at a daycare/afterschool program working five days a week, over the same block of time during my freshman year. Since then I have also had a couple on-campus jobs (including my internship with Career and Internship Services). Drawing on these experiences I have listed a few pros and cons of on-campus jobs.

On-campus Jobs

PROS OF ON-CAMPUS JOBS

  1. Greater flexibility around your schedule
    College basically is a full-time job. We work very hard even if it is not a paying job. Getting our degree is a priority and on-campus jobs understand the weird schedules that go along with being a student.
  2. Chances are you get breaks when the school goes on break
    Got a fabulous spring break trip planned? Want to go home for the entirety of winter break and visit family? That’s awesome! And you know you won’t have to fight anyone for the time off.
  3. Transportation takes less time/costs less
    Unless you live off campus, you could walk to work, which would save you the hassle of finding reliable transportation, paying for gas, and/or figuring out bus schedules. Logistically, you will also have to go through the job search process that, with on-campus jobs, won’t require transportation.

CONS OF ON-CAMPUS JOBS

  1. Wages might not be as high as some off-campus jobs
    This can vary from job to job of course, but the chances for more than minimum wage are higher with off-campus jobs. Both types are good for having some spending money to buy groceries and go out with friends on weekends, but off-campus jobs may provide more to your bank account.
  2. Might not be as many opportunities for a job related to your field of interest
    While I wouldn’t discount the many opportunities that may be related to your field of interest on your college campus (research assistantships, TA positions…), AND the number of great transferable skills any job offers…depending on what you’re interested in, you may find more directly related opportunities by looking for work off campus.

CONCLUSION
Turns out on-campus jobs are not as weird as I imagined as a freshman. I’ve met really awesome people through my jobs on-campus and gotten more connected to campus. I have also met really awesome people through my jobs off-campus as well, and in my next post I will be discussing some pros and cons of off-campus jobs.

Read Whitney’s other posts

Photo Source: Unsplash | Crew

#BulldogOnTheJob: Karissa

Editor’s Note: We’re trying something new this year. We are interviewing various UMD Alumni about how their experiences at UMD have impacted their professional lives. They will also be giving their advice for being successful out there in the real world.

Name: Karissa Hendricks
Major: Human Resource Management
Minor: Communication
Grad Date: December 2013

Organization, title, and a brief synopsis of what you do.
I work for maurices as the HR Coordinator on the Human Resource Business Partner team. In this role, I am responsible for local networking and outreach which includes attending career fairs, coordinating job shadows and group visits, and conducting informational interviews. I am responsible for the start to finish recruiting for temps, interns, and entry-level positions, as well as the onboarding of new hires. I am also responsible for various compliance related tasks such as unemployment. My favorite part of my job is that I am always presented with new things to do and projects to work on – there is something new every day!

Karissa BOTJ

Karissa recruiting for maurices at the Spring Head of the Lakes Job & Internship Fair.

What were the jobs, opportunities, and/or classes you had that led to your current role?
I originally went to UMD for Marketing, but after taking my HR Principles class I realized that HR was more in line with my interests. A later internship in HR solidified my decision to change majors. I grew up in the Twin Ports area and always wanted to work for maurices. About a month before graduation, I attended the UMD Alumni Networking Night determined to talk with a representative from maurices. Our discussion went well, and a few weeks after the event the Recruiter called me and told me about a temporary opportunity available at maurices in the Human Resources Department. I jumped at the opportunity and began working at maurices two weeks before I finished classes. Since accepting that temporary position, my job is no longer temporary and has continued to evolve.

What do you know now that you wish you’d known prior to entering your role/field?
Something I wish I would have known, and taken advantage of, is being more involved while at school. There are so many opportunities available and clubs to join. I joined the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) my junior year and had so many great opportunities to learn from professionals in Duluth, I just wish I would have done it sooner!

Karissa BOTJ Quote

What career advice do you have for students wishing to enter your field?
My advice would be to just put yourself out there. I know that it sounds cliché, but the best things really do happen when you step outside of your comfort zone. I would also add to say “yes” to every opportunity you are given – even if it is not exactly what you want to do. This will help you figure out what you like and don’t like. Plus, it will demonstrate your willingness to work hard, which will not go unnoticed!

Take advantage of the amazing resources that are available to you, especially at Career & Internship Services, which offers resume and cover letter review, interview prep, and more! These resources are free and will help you be prepared and confident when applying for jobs. The sooner you start this, the better. Also, be sure to attend career fairs and networking events and be prepared and confident when approaching employers. Even if you are not looking for a position immediately, forming relationships with employers will be to your benefit when you begin your job search.

Anything else you want to add about your time at UMD, or since, that greatly impacted where you are now?
I loved going to UMD and attending LSBE. It is a great school in a great community. I knew that I wanted to stay in Duluth and feel so lucky that I was able to do that. I think that going to school at UMD helped make that happen as I was able to form connections in the community. Through working in HR at maurices I have had several opportunities to return to campus for presentations and career fairs and I am always SO impressed by the caliber of students I talk with at UMD.

Interested in maurices? Check out their Careers page

How I Chose MIS

By: Kimberly

On my student orientation day, I came in strongly believing that Computer Science was the major for me. My first semester consisted of some liberal education courses and one computer science course. I knew that this computer science course would either further solidify my decision or reject it. Soon enough, as I quickly stumbled upon the halfway mark of the semester I started to question myself and this major. My grade in the computer science course was slowly dropping, I wasn’t happy in the course, and I couldn’t help but doubt my abilities.

After a week of contemplation, I knew that the only way I could resolve this situation was… setting up an appointment to meet with someone who had the experiences and knowledge behind this dilemma – my advisor. It was through her I found out about Career & Internship Services and how helpful they would be. She recommended I take a few assessments through their department and in addition, schedule a follow-up appointment with a career counselor to dive more in depth into the assessments. Without hesitation, I made my way to their office and got all three assessments and all appointments scheduled.

MIS Major

My appointments with the career counselors were absolutely phenomenal. I came in stressed, frustrated, and full of negativity about the possibility of finding a new major that would fit me. Immediately, after I expressed to them about why I decided to take the assessments they responded with such positivity and reassurance that it was not the end of the world. As they went on explaining the results as well as shining some lights on some of my interests, we were able to narrow down a few possible majors that could potentially be options for me.

I took it into my own initiative to further my research behind the different majors that were most appealing to me. Thankfully, I knew some peers around me who were currently majoring in these majors, I could reach out to. Each one of them was extremely generous by taking their time to respond with helpful information and even sharing their own experiences. After many research and consideration, I decided to take courses related to the MIS (Management Information Systems) major.

In my MIS courses, I noticed a huge difference in my performance and interest within the major. For example, I didn’t score poorly on my exams and I enjoyed the material  I learned within each course. I was also able to slightly get a grasp of what I could potentially do with this major which made me more certain with this major. After halfway into Fall semester I decided to change my major officially and declare my major as Management Information Systems.

Currently, I am a Junior with an MIS major and I absolutely love it. I enjoy the things I am learning in my upper division courses and my performance also reassures me that I understand the material as well. Overall, if you feel like you are completely lost and don’t know which direction to go when deciding on your major(s), I highly recommend that you seek out the resources available to you. It’s also a great idea to explore on your own skills, interest, and truly get to know yourself better. Lastly, remember that if something doesn’t work out, it could just mean there is something else out there, that you are much better at.

Read Kimberly’s other posts

Photo Source: Unsplash | Luca Bravo

Importance of Attending Conferences

By: Lexi

There are so many ways to learn and advance your skills, especially with all the online tools these days. You can read a blog post, take an online course, listen to a podcast, watch a webinar or YouTube videos, etc. So why would you want to attend a conference? Do not worry, this is exactly what I thought until I attended one.

In the fall of 2016, I attended the 26th annual MN GIS/LIS Consortium that was held in Duluth, MN (GIS = Geographic Information Science; LIS = Land Information System). It was a 3-day event with a variety of workshops, small and large group presentations, and an exhibitors hall. I was required to attend because of my job, and I was excited to attend my first conference, but I will admit that I was a little hesitant. To be honest, my mindset before the conference was pretty much that I have to wake up early to waste 3 days of my time sitting and listening to boring presentations. But it turned out to be an eye-opening event about all the different areas and companies within my area of study. Now, I am going to take advantage of all of the conferences I can and here’s why!

MN GIS Logo

At conferences, you get a chance to meet and network with professionals and peers you would never have if you did not attend! This could open up so many doors for you as a professional and a student. Face-to-face conversations are great for collaborating ideas or talking about possible jobs or internships. Do not be afraid to introduce yourself to someone, you are both at the same conference so you already have something in common.

Personally, at the MN GIS/LIS Consortium, I was so shy. This was my first conference, I was new to the atmosphere, and I did not know what I was doing. The main push for me to become comfortable introducing myself to others stemmed from having my supervisors, professors, and upper classmates introduce me to their colleagues or acquaintances. Having someone else first introduce you is a great way to meet someone because you then have a mutual acquaintance in common and it might be less uncomfortable than for you to go up to them yourself. So take advantage of this opportunity. It can also help you break out of your comfort zone! This was my favorite part of the conference, especially because I was involved in a mentor program which paired me with a professional who I was able to sit down with, chat, and ask questions.

IMG_0555

Myself and two other UMD students who are also GIS majors or minors at the conference.

Conferences open up opportunities, like I mentioned above briefly. These could be educational or career opportunities. First of all, you get the chance to learn in a new environment that is not the traditional classroom and everyone could use a break from the classroom every once in awhile. You will also take away new ideas and approaches that will help you succeed and be more efficient. You will even probably discover new tools or technology to help you in your studies.

Personally, I learned about so many new GIS tools, research studies, design approaches, and GIS databases at the conference I attended. These opened up many new ways for me to do my studies and research in class. The experience of learning these new ideas and tools will also help me in the future career. This conference also had a student research scholarship competition and a poster competition. I personally did not compete in either of these, but I know some students who did and it is a great way to show off your research and hard work! So attend these workshops or presentations and pick one that you have maybe never heard of before. When else will you get the chance? The opportunities at conferences are endless and hopefully, it will inspire you as well.

IMG_0548

The “Mobile Imagery – Capture the World Around You with Mobile Imaging” lightning round presentation I attended.

Of Possible Interest:

Read Lexi’s other posts

Navigating Through College as a First-Generation Student, Part II

By: David

From the previous post I had written, I took up on the concept of the experiences of first-generation students (FGS) and decided that I would elaborate on my own experiences as a first-generation student. From the previous post, I mentioned the two ways that helped me through college were: (1) capitalizing on campus resources & opportunities and (2) connecting with staff and faculty. Today, I’ll be exploring on two more ways that really helped me in navigating through college. With that being said, let’s dive in!

Navigating as First Gen 2

Finding a Social Network
For any student entering college, it is crucial to connect with a community or group of individuals who they can socialize and find support within. As an FGS, it becomes especially difficult since there is no prior knowledge of the college environment and thus creates a barrier in finding a social network to connect with. Fortunately, most college campuses give students the opportunity to find social networks to get involved in, whether it’s Greek Life, student organizations, academic opportunities, employment, etc.

For me personally, the most difficult part about finding social networks was actually connecting with other students. Granted, I came to college and roomed with 3 of my friends from high school, but I still had the desire to branch out and network with other students. Finding a social network was not easy and required a lot of trial and error. After my first Student Activities Fair, I was so excited to join the various organizations I had interacted with, but was quite disappointed when attending many of their meetings and events because I simply didn’t feel like I belong. My turning point came when I made the effort to get involved with the Multicultural Center. As a student of color myself, there were a lot of similarities I could identify with and reasons to get involved. It truly helped me find a social network with Asian Pacific American Association (which I have mentioned about numerous times in previous blog posts!). To segway into my next point, what worked best for me in terms of expanding my social networks was to get involved on campus!

Getting Involved!
If you’ve read my previous posts, you know by now that I am a HUGE advocate for getting involved on campus. Ultimately, my college experience has tremendously shaped my ability to navigate through college. Join a student organization, find on-campus employment, participate in events and activities hosted by the university, and conduct or assist with research in your academic department. These are SOME (many more out there) examples of getting involved on campus. So why get involved you ask? From the previous 3 points (capitalizing on opportunities, connecting with staff & faculty, finding social networks) I made in this blog series, getting involved is the best way to tie all of these together. I say this because through getting involved you pretty much cover all three areas and it is something tangible, or an action that anyone can make in terms of navigating through college.

My first year coming into college, I recall seeing a poster (you know, those inspirational quotes with the pretty pictures?) in a staff member’s office that greatly shaped my college philosophy. The poster quoted, “build bridges, not walls” and it had the most mesmerizing picture of a bridge I’ve ever seen. My point is, after reading that quote along with the captivating bridge, my philosophy was (and still is) to connect with as many students, staff, and faculty as I could before graduating. In doing so, I took up as many positions and opportunities as I could to branch out and expand my horizon of knowledge. In truth, this required me having to step outside my comfort zones and it was difficult at first I’ll admit; but as I reflect on my experiences, those moments of insecurity and vulnerability only allowed me to grow at a rapid rate professionally and personally. Being first-generation, it didn’t help that I didn’t have the knowledge or capabilities to interact and connect with others as I had wished, and often times I didn’t know what I needed or wanted to know. Life was rough, I tell ya. Fortunately, direct experience in leadership positions and active involvement really gave me a deep sense of knowledge and skills.

Conclusion
To wrap things up, I want to say that I am aware and sensitive to the fact that these four ways of navigating through college as an FGS might not be for everyone and that there are a lot of other ways to do so. By keeping things broad, I hope it helps push you to find your own way in succeeding throughout college. On a side note, I have come to observe the relationship between first-gen students and the university (campus life programs, academic programs, etc.). My conclusion is that the two have to meet in the middle. Students need to take an active role in securing (or at least attempt) these opportunities and services offered and be willing to step outside their comfort zones. On the flipside, the university needs to actively promote their services so students know what’s available to them and in addition, explicitly state their sensitivity and awareness of first-generation students.

My final tip for other first-generation students in navigating through college is this: be humble and open-minded. As an FGS, I understand that there is, to some degree, a sense of pride in NOT seeking help or assistance when struggling. The source of pride may vary from student to student, but it definitely exists. Furthermore, it is important to be vulnerable and allow room for constructive criticism and learning moments for your growth. This is more of a life tip, but keep your thoughts open to different perspectives to further expand your own and reserve judgement until proven. Stay warm Bulldogs!

Read David’s other posts

Photo source: Unsplash | Richard Tilney-Bassett

Social Media Squad at the UMN Job Fair

By: Tori

UMN Job Fair Logo_2017

We’re back from running social media at the U of M Job Fair! And what a successful event it was!

My co-peer educator, David, and I headed down to the Minneapolis Convention Center on Friday, February 24th to assist with showing students what the largest job fair in all of Minnesota was truly like. Check out the videos we posted on Facebook.

David & Tori UMJF

Lounge Tweet

Even though job fair season may be over, we have some great tidbits of advice from students and employers at the UMN Job Fair to share with students back on our home campus of UMD (Go Bulldogs!)

In Preparation: 

Tori & UMD Student UMJF

A UMD Mechanical Engineering student (above) shared advice on how to professionally prepare for the fair by: “Reviewing your resume and purchasing a portfolio. You’ll always win points with those two things!”

“Research the employers going to the fair by using the job fair app. That way you will know who employers are AND where they are located at the fair. You won’t have to look around and be distracted trying to find employers.”- Kimberly, Peer Educator at UMD Career and Internship Services (2nd from left in photo below).

Kimberly & Friends UMJF

At the Fair: 

“Take a look at how long the lines are, talk to other employers first to practice, then go to your top choices and dream jobs.”- PJay, Front Desk Student Assistant at the UMD Career and Internship Services.

Sadie Instagram

Sadie (above), a Front Desk Student Assistant in our office gave us her favorite tip while at the fair: “Collect business cards from every employer you talk to & follow-up.”

“Do a lap, know where things are. Be yourself! Dive in! Just go for it!”- UMN Student

Employers also offered advice to students at the Job Fair:

UMJF Employer Collage

“Research companies and apply for open positions before the fair, and then come say hello!”

Employer Resume Advice: “Keep it looking clean and easy to read by utilizing bullet points, bolded letters, customized headers, and formatting that flows.”

When approaching employers, “Confidence is key to standing out.”

“Don’t be shy, ask critical questions, be curious!” and remember, “It’s your time to interview us (employers) too!”

I hope this advice is helpful to you as you begin preparing for your next job fair, interview, or interaction with an employer! It’s okay to be nervous and not know what to expect, but use the resource you have to take the next steps.

Check out these social media sites for more information and tips from the UMN Job Fair:

Read Tori’s other posts