I Just Work (Live & Learn) Here: Why We Need On-Campus Jobs

by Sarah Owen

by Sarah Owen

contributor

My on-campus job is to ask questions, what’s yours?

If you’re like most students on campus, you learn here, you probably live here and you might just work here. Working on-campus is an important part of the Millsaps experience. It allows students to connect with the campus not just as students but also as professionals. It allows students to network, to build resumes and to gain skills they’ll need when they enter the workforce.

This semester, I’m Dr. Lola Williamson’s Mellon Fellow. The Mellon Fellowship is a new program from the Writing Center which allows consultants to work one-on-one with a professor to develop the best program for their students. As Dr. Williamson’s Mellon Fellow, I get to learn from her students. My job is to be laywoman on Eastern philosophy and religion and ask a lot of questions to help clarify students’ writings. I’ve picked up a couple of terms and—more importantly—built a professional relationship with Dr. Williamson and connected with her students through their work. Also, I get to learn about swordsmanship and watch skits about Trump and Confucius.

Working with the Writing Center, I’ve developed programming and learning materials and developed a place in the college community. In fact, the skills I gained from the Writing Center have helped me get off-campus tutoring jobs. Dr. McElvaine gave me a history department teaching internship partially because of my consultant training.

More importantly, for many Millsaps students, their on-campus student jobs not only give them a Millsaps experience but keep them at Millsaps. With tuition increasing every year, many students find that, while they could cover the cost between financial aid, loans and help from their families freshman year, by their sophomore or junior year they need to earn money in order to pay tuition and remain at Millsaps.

Essentially, student jobs provide four basic functions: allow students to earn money without having to leave campus, have employers who understand that education comes first, give students an opportunity to build both their resume and job skills and provide the college a steady stream of cheap and enthusiastic labor.

Millsaps, why don’t we continue prioritizing these important parts of our students’ college experiences?

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