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Working on Campus: How to Balance Work, School, and Life

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A group of UMass students with the text, Working on Campus: How to Balance Work, School, and Life.

When I first arrived at college I decided to hold off on getting a job. I wanted to have a stress-free transition into college, and my parents supported my decision to put off outside work for the time being. I went two years without a steady income while on campus, and my wallet suffered completely. Because of this, I began searching for jobs at the end of my sophomore year. The summer before my junior year, I was fortunate to be referred to the job I currently have, this marketing communications internship with the Office of Undergraduate Admissions! Thus far, the job has been one of the best on-campus positions I could have asked for. Not only am I doing what I love and what I want to pursue in the future, but I am getting paid for it.

So, where do I find a job? Whether you are looking for a job on or off-campus, a work-study or non-work-study position, the undergraduate Student Employment Office (SEO) is the place to start. The SEO provides a listing service with a wide variety of student part-time and seasonal jobs. This student job board is where active student job opportunities can be found, which are updated daily. Students may also contact an on-campus department directly if interested in working in a certain academic or administrative area. You may also review job boards at some of the largest on-campus employers including, Auxiliary Services, the LibrariesResidential Life and Transit Services.

To help narrow down your job search, let us explore some of the different jobs that the University of Massachusetts Amherst students currently have on campus. 

Marketing Communications Intern: Office of Undergraduate Admissions: Aaliyah '21

Job Description: In this position, my main priority is to support the marketing campaigns of the Office of Undergraduate Admissions by creating social media content that attracts the consideration of prospective students. This media content ranges from blogs, YouTube videos, Instagram takeovers, and photography. 

Where the Job was Found: I was referred to the job through my peer advising position in the communication department here at UMass. Never underestimate the power of connections — they might just point you in the direction of a great opportunity!

How You Balance Work, School, and Life: I live by a planner. Planning out my responsibilities for the week helps me feel like I am ahead of the game. Having a planner is a great way to stay on track and ensure you are meeting all of your deadlines. If I can, I also like to have little to no work on the weekends so I can enjoy some time with my friends. To do this, I try to get ahead of my work on the weekdays when I can. Having a planner and getting ahead on work has truly helped me balance my busy schedule. 

UMass Amherst Tour Guide and Residential Assistant: Kolby '21 

Job Description: As a tour guide, I provide guided tours to prospective students, their families, and other guests of the university. I also act as a connection between guests and the university during special events such as open houses, Destination Days, and other university held events. As a Residential Assistant, I am responsible for facilitating the social, academic, and personal adjustment of students to the residence hall and university, and creating a sense of community among residents. 

Where the Job was Found: I found both jobs through advertisements and word of mouth. I also remember seeing both on the job board, so I highly suggest checking that out as well!

How You Balance Work, School, and Life: With two demanding jobs, balancing everything can be difficult. I have learned that keeping a planner and prioritizing my work by deadlines is what makes balancing everything so much easier. If you find yourself getting overwhelmed, take a deep breath, relax, and lean on your UMass support group for guidance. I promise it will all work out! 

Barista: Emma '21 

Job Description: I work as a barista at the various coffee shops around campus. In this position, I take orders, prepare drinks and food, and clean and open the shop when needed. 

Where the Job was Found: I found this job by contacting the head of student jobs on campus at the beginning of the fall semester of my freshman year. Once I had contacted them, I started looking for shifts at the café shops that fit into my schedule. 

How You Balance Work, School, and Life: As an architecture student, I am constantly swamped with projects. I also currently work as an intern for an architecture firm off campus, and that adds to my workload. To balance this, I firmly believe in planning out my various responsibilities for the week and sticking to a strict schedule. I know it can be intimidating to balance a busy college schedule, but trust me, it is possible!

College of Engineering Tour Guide and Tutor: Ally '21 

Job Description: As a tour guide, I provide guided tours to prospective students, their families, and other guests of the College of Engineering here at UMass. Similarly, as a tutor, I aid students within the College of Engineering with their various course work. 

Where the Job was Found: I found the tutor position through someone in the College of Engineering. From there, I applied and got the position. For my tour guide position, I was asked to take on the role by someone who was graduating and was looking for a replacement. 

How You Balance Work, School, and Life: I am fortunate enough that if I do not have tours, which is pretty often, then I do not have a work shift. When I do not have tutees I can do homework during my shifts, which is extremely helpful. In general, I balance everything with thorough planning and utilizing my free time to my advantage. I typically like to stay ahead, so I plan my other priorities around my work schedule to ensure that happens.

Topic: 

Life at UMass
Transitioning to College

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