The benefits of student employment on UAA’s campus

Along with the flexible hours and new relationships created through working on campus, working as a student employee provides a number of benefits. Flexible schedules are specifically made to work with course loads and relieve some of the stresses of working while attending college, and some positions allow students to save time and money on transportation and scholarship opportunities.

“One of my favorite things about having an on-campus job is that school comes first, which is not something I’ve experienced before,” Jeanette Sweetman, sixth-year fine arts major with a concentration in photography, said. “A lot of my work is self paced, and I do a lot of my own scheduling. I really appreciate that aspect of it.”

Described as the “station mom” of UAA’s radio station, KRUA, Sweetman began her position as program director by volunteering as a DJ her freshman year. Her passion for media, along with her choice of major, came together for her job on-campus.

“What I hope to do in the future is continue to work in media, whether that be video, photo, broadcasting or music,” Sweetman said. “It excites me how all those areas can interact.”

The UA system is currently offering over 200 student employee jobs, half of them available at the Anchorage campus, not to mention the hundreds already occupied by students.

Aside from the commonly known positions, many unconventional careers are also offered at UAA. Information Technology Services, lifeguard and culinary arts lab aide jobs are available to students, as well as positions in the UAA Planetarium, Facilities Planning & Construction and the Alaska Center for Rural Health and Health Workforce.

The majority of the positions available at UAA fall under the categories of office and clerical, or student affairs and services. One student services job that proves very beneficial is becoming a Wolfpack leader. Their biggest role is leading the Howl Day new student orientations, “navigating the way,” as stated by their motto, for students in the transition between high school and college.

“When I first came to school here, I didn’t have a lot of people to help me transition,” Nathan Kipchumba, senior nursing and psychology major and Wolfpack leader of two years, said. “I’m doing this job to help other students get the experience that I didn’t when I was a freshman.”

When the Wolfpack isn’t leading orientations, they are busy assisting students through other events, such as FUSION (For Unity and Service in Our Neighborhoods), workshops, career fairs, recruitment and running information desks in the Rasmuson Hall and Social Sciences Building.

“We’re one of the offices that interacts with the most students,” Kipchumba said. “Everyone [who works] here is responsible for what we do, and we have the opportunity of exercising our leadership and communication skills. I think that’s really important.”

Many student employee co-workers are peers as well, creating an opportunity to meet new people that share common interests.

Senior language and international studies major Ioana Lobontiu also enjoys that her on-campus job helps connect her with other students. Lobontiu is in her third year as a German tutor at UAA. Studying the language for about six years now, she shares her expertise with students of various levels three times a week.

“I think there is a great sense of camaraderie to be gleaned from working with fellow students,” Lobontiu said. “It’s gratifying to work in an environment where you share a common appreciation for learning and scholarship, and it’s amazing to be in the same room with people who share my passion for languages.”

Holding a position as a part-time student employee requires registration in six or more credits in the UA system, as well as maintaining a cumulative grade point average of a 2.0. In addition, more specific requirements, such as a resume or references, are associated with certain jobs.

Wages typically range from $8.50 – $12 per hour, with a maximum workload of 20 hours a week, encouraging students to focus on their academics.

“It means a lot to me that I can prioritize school and that won’t be taken into question or put my job on the line,” Sweetman said.

Kipchumba likes that employers at UAA are understanding and flexible of the workload students endure.

“They understand that you’re a student first and allow you to work around your schedule. Most employers off campus don’t understand that,” Kipchumba said.

These positions serve as a way to get students more involved in the university itself, while also providing a means of financial support.

“There’s something really cool about being a part of on-campus function and getting to know people,” Sweetman said. “I’ve made some really great friends and gotten to know a lot of people I wouldn’t have if it hadn’t been for working at KRUA.”

The majority of student employees at the university have found their experience to be extremely enjoyable, rewarding and beneficial in gaining experience in their desired career fields.

“I would highly recommend being a student employee at UAA, especially if there is a specific field or job that piques one’s interest,” Lobontiu said.

Sweetman encourages students to seek out campus jobs early on in the academic journey rather than later.

“I didn’t know it would be something I’d value so much, and I’m glad I eventually started,” Sweetman said.

If you’re interested in becoming a student employee at UAA, the UA job search is available under the Student Employment section of the university’s website. This site shows all the available positions throughout the UA system. You can refine the search by work type, location and category to find the job most suitable to you.