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On-campus jobs keep students close to class

Senior+advertising+major%2C+Lillian+Acosta+works+at+her+Union+Services+job.++
Sergio Zamora
Senior advertising major, Lillian Acosta works at her Union Services job.

Tuition has to be paid somehow, and some students choose to do on-campus work to cover their expenses. Students have the option to work as federal work-study students, student employees, and even fill staff positions at the university, which some say could provide an extra advantage.

The advantages of working on campus go beyond just an aid toward paying one’s tuition, according to Nalleli Torres, a master’s student in public administration.

“Instead of paying $2,000 I ended up paying only $150,” Torres said. “If you’re working in the same department your degree is in, it helps you with your professional development.”

A recruiter for the UTEP Human Resource Services, Torres said that the benefits of working at the university range from health care packages to the university helping pay tuition.

Although the benefits only apply to full-time staff members, undergraduate students are not excluded from those jobs.

“We have had instances when student employees have applied for staff positions,” said Patricia Jensen, another human resource recruiter. “Depending on the position and the qualifications, a student may fill a (staff) position.”

While not all students may be qualified for full-time jobs at the university, it’s not exactly a disadvantage. According to human resources and the University Career Center, students can apply for student positions in their colleges and other departments.

The JobMine web portal (accessible through http://sa.utep.edu/careers/) connects employers looking for students to hire and possible future employees. Their service is available for students and alumni that want to seek work, and is run by the University Career Center, a university department that connects job-seeking students with employers.

A student job on campus could also turn into a full-time job.

“About half of our current (HR) staff started as student positions,” Jensen said.

Human Resource Services isn’t the only place where students can find jobs, however. Many are placed through UCC.

“I went to career services to review information about jobs on campus and to make my resume better,” said Carlos Pedroza, a sophomore and circulation desk clerk at the university library.

Working where you study could also have benefits that could not be available elsewhere, Pedroza said.

“Probably the biggest benefit is that I get a very flexible job schedule,” Pedroza said.

Pedroza said his supervisors are understanding of his school schedule and plan their work schedule around his and his work mates’ classes. He also said that as a circulation clerk, there are times when he is able to work on his classwork, something that is especially easy while working in a library.

Other students find jobs directly tied to their major at the university.

“Working here, I get to see what nurses actually do and have gotten a lot of first-hand information,” said Leslie Gomez, a sophomore pre-nursing student who works at the on-campus Student Health Center.

Some students look for university jobs from the beginning, hoping they get the most out of their education.

“When I entered UTEP, I started looking for jobs that were related to my major,” Gomez said.

Students agree the biggest advantage of working on campus is how classes and work mesh with each other.

“It’s a lot easier to get to classes and then come back to work,” Gomez said. “Since my classes and my job are close, I’m not late and it won’t look bad to my professors or my job.”

Julio Cesar Chavez may be reached at [email protected].

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On-campus jobs keep students close to class