The College Cost: Working on Campus

College costs a lot. Somewhere between books, food, concert tickets, metro cards and other endless things that cost money in New York City, the bill starts to add up. Students are spending money every day and that money is bound to run out eventually, so how are students supporting themselves? For some, the answer might be savings from a summer job. For others, parents might be covering certain expenses. But, one of the most common ways college students make money is through campus employment.

There are a lot of different places students can work on campus. From the mailroom to tour guides, almost anyone could find a job they like. For senior Ian Rhatigan, who has been working on campus in the admissions office since freshman year, getting an on-campus job has allowed him to continue enjoying himself while at school.

“I got a work-study job because I had to. In all seriousness, I got one to help with tuition and for money to spend while I’m at school,” Rhatigan said. As a tour guide, he shows prospective MC students around the campus, and when he’s not giving tours he’s completing office duties.

While the work-study job is a way to make money to spend during the semester, it also has made some connections for Rhatigan. “I’ve been a tour guide since my freshman year, and it has definitely been a positive experience. Many of the tour guides have become some of my closest friends,” he said.

Sophomore computer science major Alanna Hupe has found that her on-campus job with ITS client services offers both a chance to make some money and an opportunity to apply her learning.

“I really thought that ITS would be a way to make some money and also be a way to implement some of my skills to help people. And it’s a way to learn and gain experience,” Hupe said.

While she enjoys what she does at work, Hupe does think that having a job on campus has taken up some of her time.

“It’s taken up some time for sleep, but just in general time that I would be studying or doing things that don’t require me to fix people’s computers,” she said.

Sophomore Linda Barr began working this semester for the Center for Academic Success as an e-portfolio facilitator. The e-portfolio program is new on campus this year. Barr works with an Arches class to help them prepare e-portfolios, which she describes as “a supplement to a resume.”

Barr saw the opportunity to work on campus as a chance for a good experience.

“I’ve wanted to get a job for a while and I was recommended for this one by a professor,” Barr said. “It seemed like a good job because I’m an education major and I thought this would give me good teaching practice.”

Another sophomore, Alexa Wroblewski, began working on campus this semester too. Wroblewski took a job catering with Gourmet Dining as a way to make money during the semester.

“I think having a job on campus will be really great because I don’t have to go far to do my job,” she said. “The convenience is my favorite part, so instead of sitting in my dorm, I could make a few bucks.”

Wroblewski is planning to study abroad in Spain next semester and will use the money she earns on campus for the trip. She doesn’t expect to stop working after her semester abroad though.

“I expect to hold this job for the next couple years, if possible,” she said.

As she just began her job, she is learning the ropes and getting excited for what is to come.

“My first day wasn’t too bad but I know I have to wear comfortable shoes from now on,” Wrokblewski added.

On-campus employment allows a student to make money to sustain themselves without even having to leave MC. Whether students work in the tutoring center, the admissions office, the library, for Gourmet Dining or ITS, the opportunity to make money and gain work experience is usually a good one.

Of course with classes to worry about and the other important things that come with being a college student, sometimes a job on or off campus can be a struggle.

“It can be extremely stressful working during the school year, because you’re trying to balance a social life and five classes. During the summer you are just doing the job and you have much more time for it,” Hupe said.

If students can come to balance the pressures of school, friends and an on-campus job, they will not only be making money but they will be getting experience that will help them during their time at MC and beyond in the real world.