On-campus job opportunities

Having a job while pursuing a college education is an important step in achieving independence and gaining responsibility. Despite the current poor job market, finding employment does not have to be a treacherous process due to the vastly untapped resource of on-campus employment.

All full-time students are eligible for on-campus Student Help employment, while part-time students taking six or more units, who are already receiving financial aid, can apply for Federal Work Study.

Many Student Help jobs are exclusive to their categories, as the budget is handled directly by each respective department at Santa Monica College. Because of this aspect, Student Help positions are limited and can be filled quickly, as diligence and determination are major factors of many prospective student employees.

Students under Federal Work Study are already receiving financial aid, since the need for employment in these students greatly outweighs those looking for extra spending money. SMC does an efficient job in giving these students priority, as the majority of positions available are exclusive to Federal Work Study.

Whether under Federal Work Study or Student Help, SMC offers a wide variety of jobs. Students who are passionate about a particular field of study are given the opportunity to work alongside their professors in a professional environment, such as grading papers as a teacher's assistant.

"I value my job a lot," said SMC student Alexis Williams. "The professor I work for and I get along well, and the workloads are all totally manageable. I doubt I'll ever have a boss that's nearly as understanding of a student's workload."

The seemingly long list of paperwork and steps necessary for on-campus employment can be a deterrent for many prospective student employees. Student Kristi Lauren suggested that students apply early.

"By the time I had submitted my application and taken all the necessary steps, the position that I was aiming for was already filled," Lauren said.

In addition to the dozens of pages of legal jargon one must fill out, students are also required to make an appointment with the Santa Monica College Police Department to be fingerprinted, a measure that seems unnecessarily extreme.

Despite the modest minimum wage, on-campus employment is a commodity that many students fail to take advantage of, due to either laziness or misinformation. Not only is it a convenient means to making extra money, but also one of the most practical ways to contribute back to the school while receiving compensation in return.

OpinionJames CosterComment