By RikkiLynn Shields, Asst. Editor
Many students at Manhattan College have a tightly packed schedule full of classes, extra-curricular activities and more. For athletes, competing on a Division I team, having time for anything but sports or classes seems almost impossible to manage.
However, there are some like Caroline Ferri, who prove this wrong. A sophomore and a member of the cross country and track and field team at Manhattan, Ferri trains with her team from the end of August and finishes her season in late May. However, since her sport is all year round, she is expected to train during all months—there is no off season for her.
But along with running and pursuing an accounting degree, Ferri has added to her list of responsibilities. She’s held a work study position at Manhattan since the spring of 2016 as an assistant in the athletic training room. After starting off with six hours of work a week, she has bumped up her schedule to 11 hours a week.
“Balancing school work, athletics, extra-curricular activities and a work study position was hard at first, but now I consider going to work like going to one of my classes,” Ferri says. “I rarely ever miss a day of work. And quite honestly, I’d rather be making money than snoozing in my bed all day.”
On top of working 11 hours in the training room, where she cleans and organizes the room and performs light treatment on the student athletes, Ferri is also expected to attend practice once a day, for two to three hours at a time.
With 11 hours of work a week, and between 14 to 21 hours of practice, it seems difficult for Ferri to also manage her school work. However, Ferri disagrees.
“Having a job at school has actually made me even more productive,” Ferri says. “Even though I am working five more hours this semester, compared to last semester, my GPA has gone up. I often study my notes or get work done when the training room is not busy.”
Besides missing out on potential naps that many of her teammates seem to have time for, Ferri says that her work hours never interferes with her social life. While working, she says that her paychecks go towards food, textbooks and her savings.
Ferri’s work study position, as well as being an athlete has only helped improve her college experience. Ferri believes that all athletes could manage a work study position, as long as they really put their minds to it.
“Working in the training room, I have made friends with athletes on almost every team,” Ferri says. “I love the people I work with since they make work an enjoyable environment to be in. My boss is very understanding about our needs as student workers, and he allows us to bring homework in to do when we have down time. I am able to study when it is nice and quiet in the training room. And lastly, the $9 an hour really adds up after a while.”
But Ferri is one of several student athletes with a work study job. For sophomore Talia Price, work study has also done nothing but improve her experience at Manhattan.
In addition to being a sophomore on the women’s lacrosse team and a psychology major, Price holds a position in the admissions office, working as a tour guide. She works approximately six hours a week and some Saturday’s for four hours. Her team practices between eight and 13 hours a week, depending on the time of the season.
As a tour guide, Price not only gives campus tours to perspective Manhattan College students, she also helps in the admissions office with filing, sorting paperwork, applications, and test scores of incoming students and more. With some weeks dedicating 20 or more hours to work and sports, Price seems to be handling it just fine.
“The most difficult part of balancing both is having to rush from practice to work,” Price says. “It is essential to look presentable for work, so every Tuesday and Friday before work I find myself rushing from practice back to my dorm with approximately 20 minutes to shower and get ready to go.”
Working as a tour guide, Price has learned to interact with people on a much deeper level.
“Personally, I was drawn to the position of becoming a tour guide because I know plenty of information about our school and I also enjoy conversing with people and maintaining an upbeat personality,” Price says.
For Price, although the majority of her down time is dedicated to work study, meeting friends who aren’t athletes is a huge plus for her.
“Having an outlet outside of the athletic world is great, and gaining work experience for the future is a plus as well,” Price says, “Along with making money, having money coming in when you believe all your time is consumed by your sport is a nice thing to see.”
Managing a work study position for an athlete may seem time consuming, however for Ferri and Price, work study is much more fulfilling than time consuming. Meeting new people, interacting with people of authority and making money all in one place doesn’t sound like a bad deal for them.
“I think a work study job is a great experience,” Price says. “It is a nice change of pace, it places you in a formal position and creates an outlet to meet new people as well as adults of authority. Athletes must use their best judgment to decide if they can manage a work study job with their schedules and if they can’t one specific semester, there is always time to find one the following semester or year.”