Job Hunting Tips From a Campus Tour Guide
Five tips on how to find your ‘dream’ part-time job while in college!
Terah Summers, University of Hawai’i at Manoa
Studying into the late hours of night, gourmet ramen dinners, and coffee overdoses. Thus is the life of a college student. And for many of you, a part-time job is thrown into the mix. But choosing the right job for you while being a student can be a bit tricky. Many students don’t realize that a part-time job can be more than dreary hours spent with filing cabinets. If you want to have a job that inspires you and makes you excited, I’ve got some tips. My experience being a campus tour guide has been overwhelmingly positive. My job has allowed me to meet interesting people from around the world and improve my communication skills. But the best part has to be my co-workers who have become my office ohana (family). We have become close friends and support each other through stressful times. I want you to have as great an experience as I’ve had while working. I hope that these five tips on how to select the right part-time job for you!
1) Flexible Schedule
When looking for a part-time job while in college, it is very important to find a job that understands that you are a student. And as a student there will be times when you need a few extra hours to cram for your upcoming exam or take a day off to meet a professor for some additional help. If your job isn’t flexible and understands what your priorities are, you’ll run into some trouble. One thing that is wonderful about on-campus jobs are that most campus employers understand that you are a student first and then a worker. Whenever I needed to take a few hours off work to study for an exam, my boss was very supportive. During finals week my boss rearranges our schedules entirely in order to make sure everyone has enough time to study. Now this does not mean that you can take advantage of your boss, but it is extremely important that you have some flexibility in your schedule.
2) Unique/ Interesting experience
A part-time job is the perfect opportunity to find a job that sounds intriguing. Of course the numbers on your paycheck matter, but personally I think it’s just as important to find work that interests you. While searching on my university’s on-line job website, I scrolled through many jobs that paid decently but didn’t inspire me. When I saw the position of campus tour guide was being offered, I knew it was good match. I prefer being outdoors and I loved the idea of sharing my college experience with perspective students. The job sounded stimulating and it was a way that I could feel connected to my campus. My job has led me to have unique experiences such has having my photo be in my universities promotional material and talking to students from around the world. So find a part-time job that you think would be a good match for you whether it is a tour guide for your university, a dive instructor, a swim team coach, or a math tutor.
“Challenging” might seem like an odd word to describe your ideal part-time job. What I mean by challenging is finding a job that teaches you valuable skills. For example, as a campus tour guide I’ve had to work on my speaking and communication skills. In the beginning, butterflies would swirl through my stomach and sometime my tongue would seem to twist as I was giving tours. But as I gained more experience and confidence, my speaking skill improved significantly. I wouldn’t say that I have the easiest job, but I can say that there hasn’t been a day where I’ve been bored when working. So find a job that teaches you something and will challenge you.
4) Supportive boss
A supportive, caring boss is a must. My boss is truly inspiring and genuinely cares about her student workers. Many of my co-workers think of her as a mom. She will ask how we are doing not only in terms of work but outside of the office as well. There is some professionalism that has to exist between you and your boss, but finding a boss that cares about your well-being is a big plus.
5) Amazing co-workers
One of the reasons why I love my job so much is because of my co-workers. We are like a small family in the office. If possible, talk to people who work in the office beforehand and see whether or not you could envision yourself working there. Having a hard-working yet fun-loving group of co-workers has made my job ten times more fun. It’s important that your co-workers are supportive and are happy to be at work. And if there’s ever a stressful time in my office, I know they’ve got my back!
So there you have it! Those are five tips on how to select your ‘dream’ part-time job while in college. Make your work experience more than just numbers on a paycheck. Your job in college can transform your experience in college and help you realize your future goals…. if you select wisely.