As an incoming Freshman, I knew I needed to find ways to financially contribute to my tuition and living costs, but I was concerned about how to balance college-level academics, social commitments, and a job simultaneously. As I began to look into part-time employment in Holland and attended an on-campus career fair, I was excited to discover the flexibility of working on campus.
Working On Campus
My first job at Hope was working for the ticketed event staff. I worked home football games, basketball games, soccer games, dance performances, and theater events – taking tickets at the door, handing out programs, and greeting students, parents, and community members as they attended Hope College events. My favorite aspect of the job was the relationships it provided me my freshman year. It gave me an opportunity to meet new people outside of my classes or social spheres, and I made friendships that I would not have made otherwise. I also loved having an opportunity to connect with community members. One of the beautiful things about college is being surrounded by people your same age, but it’s so refreshing to be reminded that there is a community outside of Hope’s campus that wants to engage with students.
“One of the beautiful things about college is being surrounded by people your same age, but it’s so refreshing to be reminded that there is a community outside of Hope’s campus that wants to engage with students.“
My second job on campus was working with a professor who asked me to work with him on an oral history project. The project dissected the role of diversity in West Michigan historically, and the role of the Church on such discussions by interviewing 20 influential pastors and community leaders within Ottawa County. As I transcribed and consolidated interviews, my worldview was challenged. Not only did my professor give me the opportunity to gain job experience, he gave me an opportunity to grow as an individual.
My third on-campus job is prompting me to write this blog! Working alongside Hope’s marketing department and admissions office, my job as a content creator requires that I take pictures on campus and in Holland and write about my experiences during my last four years at Hope. This job has inspired me to be intentional in how I reflect on my experiences and be present in each moment.
Gaining Professional Experience
Having an on-campus job at Hope is not an irregularity. Many of my friends have also benefited from their jobs working at the bookstore, library, lifeguarding at the Dow, or working on research projects with various professors in their fields of study. Jobs on campus vary based on time commitment and task responsibilities. For example, working in the athletic training department provides students with on-the-job experience, while working front desk jobs often allows students to work on homework as they greet visitors.
“By the time senior year rolled around, I was more suited for a job where I could gain experience in a position that applied directly to my major and career interests.”
When asked about her experience working on campus, my friend and roommate Samantha Martino responded, “Hope College on-campus jobs have been able to adapt to my needs each year as my schedule and life changes. Freshman year, when I had more free time, I was able to easily find a job where I could put in long hours in a non-specialized position. During my shift, I could get some of my own work done, too. By the time senior year rolled around, I was more suited for a job where I could gain experience in a position that applied directly to my major and career interests. The versatile options of on-campus jobs have always been able to adapt to the progression of my education.”
Although my three jobs have differed in many ways, they have all provided a flexible schedule, an opportunity to make money, and unique perspectives that have shaped my college experience.