Students celebrate Student Employment Week

Kevin+Galindo%2C+a+sophomore+geography+major%2C+works+at+the+front+desk+in+Taylor+Hall.+Galindo+has+worked+at+the+desk+since+the+Fall+2020+semester.

Corryn Brock | The Daily Eastern News

Kevin Galindo, a sophomore geography major, works at the front desk in Taylor Hall. Galindo has worked at the desk since the Fall 2020 semester.

Elizabeth Taylor, Associate News Editor

This year, April 12-18 is National Student Employment Week, an opportunity to recognize student employees in colleges and universities across the country. 

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, around 43 percent of full-time undergraduate students are employed. For part-time undergraduate students, that number shoots up to over 80 percent. 

Job opportunities vary between schools, and many students work off campus, but Eastern employs students in many different positions. 

Each floor in each of the residence halls has a resident assistant who organizes events for the students who live there, makes sure they’re following the rules, and makes sure anything going wrong on the floor gets dealt with. 

After midnight, night assistants take over just to keep an eye on the building and make sure any late-night problems are taken care of. 

A few students each year can even work with the building service workers to help clean and handle building repairs. 

Each dining hall on campus employs quite a few students to cook, serve food, clean, and otherwise keep everyone on campus fed. 

For grad students, more positions open up such as assistant resident directors or graduate assistants in several different areas on campus. 

These are just some common examples of campus jobs; many offices employ students to answer phones and almost any department on campus will have some job opportunity for students pursuing a relevant career. 

Most residence halls also have desk assistants who manage incoming mail and answer students’ questions. 

Dunn Howard, a junior finance major, is a desk assistant in Lawson Hall who said that interacting with students has been his favorite part of the job. 

“Working as a DA, I’ve met and talked to so many different and diverse people with very interesting backgrounds,” Howard said. “From working at the desk I’ve learned everyone here has a common goal, which is getting a degree, but I’ve also learned that everyone has a different motivation or passion for getting that degree.”

On the other hand, Howard said he’s never thrilled about handling the daily mail delivery. 

“It’s not what some might expect to be the worst part of the job, but it can be draining logging packages for an hour or more sometimes every day,” Howard said. 

Shannon Rahn, a junior majoring in psychology and human services, is also a desk assistant in Lawson. 

She agreed that interacting with students was the best part of working in that position. 

“My favorite (part of the job) would have to be making a difference in the residents’ lives, whether that be making the freshmen feel more welcome or aiding in crisis situations,” Rahn said. 

Desk assistants, as well as resident assistants, move on to campus before the official Fall move-in date so that they can help other students find the correct rooms and move everything in. 

This means that they often spend extra time with incoming freshmen to make sure that they know where they’re supposed to be and what they’re supposed to be doing. 

Rahn said that the most interesting thing that happened to her during her time as a desk assistant was during the first day of that move-in process. 

“A resident had dropped their phone down the elevator from the 8th floor and it was all sorts of deformed,” Rahn said. “The poor guy had to get a new phone, but he took it like a champ.”

Most students pick up these jobs to help cover rising tuition costs or other general living expenses. 

Rahn said that she ended up as a desk assistant because her building’s assistant resident director told her that she should apply for the position. 

Howard said that he applied for the job because he wanted a change from his previous positions. 

“I choose being a desk assistant because at my job back home I work with food, so I knew here I didn’t want to do the same thing,” Howard said. “My options were trying to work at the library or being a desk assistant, and I choose to be a desk assistant.”

 

Elizabeth Taylor can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]