time on campus

We often have set ideas of things that we want to accomplish during the school year. This may include joining different clubs, making new friends, getting an internship, or even networking in your field. However, reality often hits and we realize that we don’t have the time that we thought we would, or the same amount of freedom that we have during the summer. Keeping up with school work alone while juggling an on campus job may be a transition that you didn’t expect would be so challenging. How are you handling these curveballs that may be cutting into the plans that you made for the semester? Whether you are multitasking while enjoying time with friends, working toward getting a paid internship to cover some expenses, or speaking with your professors about networking opportunities after class or during office hours, how are you balancing what needs to be done with what you’d like to accomplish this semester?

By Aroona Toor, APIASF/GMS Scholar

Working on campus can be difficult when you may not eligible for work study. I came across this issue many times in my undergraduate experience. Usually there are very limited jobs available that are not federal work study. Luckily, I have found that a lot of the summer jobs like being a camp counselor for a camp your university might be hosting, TA positions, and most paid research positions are not federal work study positions. You can also usually balance multiple positions like these at a time. If you don’t have luck finding jobs on campus, it is completely okay to find jobs that are walking distance from campus. There might be hotels or coffee shops nearby that can offer flexible hours and decent pay for a part-time job.

I strongly suggest that unless you absolutely need the pocket money, stay away from having to balance a job during the school year. You will probably miss out a lot on the overall college experience, and it can be very difficult trying to balance work and school. Summer jobs, however, are a MUST, unless you have an amazing internship. You have to remember that saving up money will never be a decision you regret. Save the money and eventually use it to travel. There is great joy and an inevitable feeling of independence that comes with being able to pay for your own travels in your early 20s. I saved up money to take trips with my university. I was able to learn about the Mexican Healthcare System and Immigration in Mexico, teach English and Dance for a month in Ethiopia. Also, I was able to save up enough money to volunteer with service immersion trips during spring breaks to West Virginia and Navajo Nation, AZ.

Importance of Working During College

By Sana Hussein, APIASF Scholar

One of the biggest mistakes college students make is not finding work during college. You are not only generating steady income (well, hopefully), but you are also gaining experience and creditability that you are a reliable employee. You can usually find jobs on campus by going to your schools website or going directly to your campus faculty members. The most important thing when looking for a job on campus is to apply early. This is critical because jobs on campus fill up quickly. 

Another great option is finding a paid internship. I have recently found a paid internship at a hot new startup. Not only did they promise that they would be flexible with my schedule since I am a college student but there is a chance that they will hire me in the future. Internships, especially paid internships, are great because they build-up your resume. 

Here are a four valuable tips when looking for a job on/off campus: 

  1. Apply to everything that you are qualified for, from jobs on campus to internships. Google will be your best friend, but remember, many jobs are not listed on the internet and you must go directly to them whether by email or in-person. 
  2. Do not overdo things. If you’re taking on a heavy course load, do not take on a job that is too demanding. You will regret it. Your health and grades will suffer. And yes, two hours of sleep is not sufficient. 
  3. When you do become employed, do not forget about volunteering and your extracurricular activities. These are very important. You must have a balance between work, grades, volunteering, and club meetings. This is where your planner comes in. Always organize your schedule, from work to study sessions. Develop the this habit, it will save you time and stress. 
  4. Make time to relax. Humans need a bit of time off or they will burn out. Read a book, sleep until the PM, or go to the movies. Have fun! You don’t want to work this hard and not have anytime for you. 

As long as you are able to handle and balance everything on your plate, with a great attitude, you will do fantastic. Getting a job during college will give you a leg up once you graduate. You are already climbing up the ladder in the workforce once you start. You’ll do great!

Finding A Job On Campus

Finding a job on campus is one of the things you can work on over the summer. Many schools have online systems to help you find a job so you can start once you get to campus. Have you considered the options listed below?

  • Work-Study: Some campus departments or community organizations work specifically with students who have been granted a Federal Work Study award as part of their financial aid package. Employers will typically specify if they require potential employees to have this award (and sometimes at specific levels).
  • Research Assistant: If you’re in a field where conducting research is highly recommended during your undergraduate years, many research labs have some funding to support undergraduate research assistants. Connecting with your favorite professors and asking to be a part of their research lab is a great way to make some pocket money AND continuing to develop your portfolio of experiences.
  • Campus Recreation: Whether checking students in, coaching someone on personal fitness, being a lifeguard, or serving as a referee in any of the intramural competitions, your campus recreation (or local gym) always has a need for help - either ongoing or on a short term basis.
  • Library: From being a peer helper or to re-shelving books,the library is another awesome source for potential employment - you’ll get to learn how the library system works and what resources are available to students. 
  • Participate in research studies: If you don’t have a lot of free time to devote to part-time employment, some schools have vibrant psychology, business, engineering, sociology, etc. departments who are consistently conducting research and needs your input. Better funded studies have small cash compensation for participants (from $5-$20/study) while other studies will provide you with course credit.

What are some employment or income-generating activities you are interested in? How will you go about balancing this employment with the school demands, extracurricular activities, and other items on your plate?

Dec 8/ strong
By Joo Young Lee, APIASF Staff
This cup not only holds a strong cup of coffee while I work, but reminds me of how important it is to live life with strong convictions and pursue the endeavors that bring true satisfaction to one’s life. I have the great privilege to do this in my daily work and gain strength from our amazing Scholars who embody Thoreau’s quote: “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined.”

Dec 8/ strong

By Joo Young Lee, APIASF Staff

This cup not only holds a strong cup of coffee while I work, but reminds me of how important it is to live life with strong convictions and pursue the endeavors that bring true satisfaction to one’s life. I have the great privilege to do this in my daily work and gain strength from our amazing Scholars who embody Thoreau’s quote: “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined.”

July Closing

By Andrew Hong

Summer vacation is a truly unique time. It is a time after one thing ends, but before another begins. It is a time when lowered personal priorities can become actual priorities again, and when some perspectives are reinforced while other perspectives can be realigned.

This month, we all witnessed examples of how people used this time of summer in order to engage in meaningful experiences that shaped them, refined them. Some people were looking to rest, take time from work, and focus on their health; some had a personal ambition and strove to pursue it through a relevant internship; others were practicing an open, curious mind and exploring through different opportunities, trying to discover and define that ambition.

Throughout these entries, there was an underlying theme of investing in one’s self. It at first seems difficult to attribute this idea of investment and growth to everyone’s summer experiences when time was spent so differently. Is it still investing in yourself if you are resting while others are working?

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Stepping Up

By Gao Thao, APIASF/GMS Scholar

Internships. Yeah, I heard this word in high school but I didn’t really understand the full meaning behind it. “Interning is like volunteering at big companies” was all I got out of it. I didn’t receive my first internship until the end of my Junior year in high school. I still didn’t call it an internship even though that was its real title. It was a job for me because I got paid. I seriously thought that if you get paid to do something it was a job, but I didn’t realize that if it’s an internship and you get paid, it’s called a paid internship and those are the best kind you can find!

So this internship was the Phoenix Program at the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) for juniors and seniors in select high schools. By “select,” I mean schools who had Project Lead the Way Classes (PLTW). PLTW are essentially introductions to engineering classes that engage and hopefully interest students in engineering. My teacher recommended the internship to me and told me to apply.

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Breakthrough Saint Paul (BSP) Week 1

By Gao Thao, APIASF/GMS Scholar

Teaching has always been at the back of my head. I thought about it many times when I was trying to figure out my major. I mean, wouldn’t it be fun to teach and lead your own classroom? I thought that would be cool. I was talking with one of my high school teachers about deciding if I wanted to major in Social Work or Education. He mentioned to me that a previous student worked at Breakthrough Saint Paul and it was a great program. I let the name float in my head for a year until I decided that I needed to give it a try. By that time, I had already declared a double major in Social Work and Justice & Peace Studies, but I know that I will end up in education because that is really what I am aiming for. I believed that Breakthrough would provide me the answer.

This is off the website…but there is no way I can sum up what Breakthrough Saint Paul (BSP) is all about. BSP “helps motivated students overcome adversity to prepare for college with the support of older students passionate about education.” BSP is a lifestyle. :)  Literally, this is only training week and I will be at BSP from 8am-7pm this whole week.

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Professional Disappointment

By Anne Y. Kim, APIASF/GMS Scholar

From the mission to the results of my labor, I enjoyed my job. My co-worker made it easy to learn to perform my duties and feel comfortable at work. As he opened up, I saw he was a lyricist, social justice worker, and pan-ethnic food truck entrepreneur, founding another non-profit while raising a child and expecting another. It explained why he drew in less than our performance target as I surpassed the goal, but I started losing respect for the very man who trained me. No one seemed to notice and take actions to increase his productivity, which further felt disillusioning. It was so frustrating that when another co-worker implied his low output was a given, I chimed in.

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