Unofficial Orientation 2020: Jobs and Work/study

Looking for a job? Here are some tips on where to look, who to ask, and the logistics of being a student employee. 

This is a new article in our 2020 Unofficial Orientation Series. Find the rest of the posts here. 

 

What is work-study?

This is a quota that is included in some financial aid awards, and you can find out if you have it by checking your financial aid award letter. It’s an amount of money that the financial aid office expects you to work in order to contribute to your tuition. Some jobs on campus are work-study only since wages will be subsidized by the financial aid office or/and the federal government. This is beneficial for departments who are working on a limited budget. The wages you make from these jobs will be deposited into your bank account, but the financial aid office expects (although doesn’t require) you to use them to directly pay your tuition. 

Work-study jobs will generally be marked as such, but if you have work-study you can earn that money at any campus job (whether or not it is marked as “work-study”). There are also certain volunteer opportunities on campus, like tutoring at Traverse Square, that work-study student can be paid for.

Important note: if you’re in a work-study position, you can only work for the number of hours your work-study allotment allows. If you exceed the number of hours it’s up to your supervisor if they want to continue employing you.

 

What if I’m not on work-study? Worry not, there are campus jobs available for you as well. 

 

How do you find a job?

With the addition of online students and what I imagine will be a large decline in Bon Apetit dining hall jobs, the landscape is different this year than it has been in the past.

On August 25th the Student Employment office announced that they would be transitioning all student employment opportunities to Handshake. Handshake is the Gordon Career Center’s job board website and includes job opportunities for work and internships both on and off-campus (basically a Wes-only version of Indeed.com). To find jobs on campus, go to the jobs section and then click on “on-campus”.

Handshake

As you can see, at the time of writing there are no on-campus jobs available (the jobs should go “live” on August 31st).

Another great place to learn about the various jobs on campus is at the student employment fair. This normally happens in person but this year it’s going to be virtual!!!!! If you’re hoping to get a good job on campus, the sort of job that looks great on a resume and that you can probably do your homework during do? not? miss? this?   The fair is happening on September 3rd from 1:30-3:30, with Zoom details yet to be posted.

The employment fair is a great way to see just how many jobs there are because usually employment information is scattered all over Wesleyan.edu. The student employment office website also has a job board that they claim to keep as updated as possible. That might change this year however with the transition to Handshake.

Another tip for finding jobs is to go talk to professors. Go to office hours and get to know them since from time to time they will be on the lookout for students to help with research projects they are working on or their colleagues are working on.

As I mentioned earlier, Bon Apetit is a big employer on campus, although this year perhaps not so much. Another name in foodservice employment on campus is Wes Wings (Swings)

Another big employer is the Center for the Arts (CFA), they offer a wide variety of jobs so be sure to talk to them at the job fair to learn more.

Departments too host office job opportunities. Usually these jobs are reserved first for majors in that department, but even if you’re not a major (or you’re undecided) it’s worth keeping an eye out on department websites (maybe Handshake as well this year?) since these jobs usually consist of doing your homework and occasionally scanning books for professors.

Library jobs function similarly in this regard, although there may be fewer of these this year and they’re quite competitive to get.

The Sustainability Office also offers 24 jobs and internships. WesWell, Wesleyan’s student health education program, also offers jobs and internships. This just goes to show how opportunities are scattered around, so getting to know professors in areas you’re interested in will help you find these less clear jobs.

Another great place to learn about job opportunities is WesAdmits. People will post both on and off-campus jobs here so keep an eye out.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this article some student groups work with the WSA to provide compensation to volunteers who have work-study. Red Feather Studios, Wesleyan’s student-run recording studio, and Traverse Square, an afterschool tutoring program for the kiddos in the community next to high and low-rise, are the two programs that I know offer this. Unless they post on Wesadmits, it’s hard to tell when an organization does this until you’ve joined so try out some organizations that seem interesting to you. You never know. 

If you’re interested in community service work, be sure to check the opportunities run by the Jewett Center for Community Partnerships.

 

Other logistical things

To work at Wes you need to fill out an I-9 and a W-4 tax form before you start working (yep, taxes are a thing that you’ll have to pay). You will also need to present the payroll office with some sort of work verification document. The list of acceptable documents can be found on the Office of Student Employment Website under “Employment Eligibility Verification Requirement”.

If you are employed by Wesleyan as a student you are paid via direct deposit every two weeks. If you don’t have a United States bank account you will need to open one in order to be paid.

YOU HAVE RIGHTS AS A STUDENT EMPLOYEE. Might be obvious, but sometimes it doesn’t seem that way. The right and responsibilities the Student employment office acknowledge are the following: 

  • Time management skills are essential as you should always report to work on time.
  • Adhere to supervisor guidelines regarding unscheduled time off from work. Employers rely on student employees to help meet many office deadlines and need to be notified of changes to the expected schedule.
  • You have the right to know what is expected of your supervisor on the job.
  • Student employees have the right to bring to the attention of their employer any problems or concerns that may arise concerning the job.
  • Perform the duties assigned to you to the best of your ability.
  • Always dress appropriately for the job as specified by your employer.
  • It is recommended that you give employers one-week notice if you are resigning.
  • Student employees must observe confidentiality policies of the employing department.
  • You must sign in and out every time you work indicating the actual hours worked and submit the completed timesheet to the supervisor every Friday. (Those timesheets handed in late will be paid in the next payroll week and will not be eligible for work-study or term-time wage split which can result in termination or loss of hours.)
  • Student employees must notify the supervisor of any job-related accident.

You’re allowed to work two or more jobs on campus, if they are work-study jobs you should let your supervisor know that you’re working more than one job since your work-study allotment will deplete faster.

You can find your pay stub history and annual W-2 forms by going to WesPortal and searching for “iPay”.

Some useful links:

Payroll Office

Career Resource Center

Office for Community Partnerships

Student Account Office

Office of Financial Aid