Buffs At Work
West Texas A&M University offers a lot of opportunities to its students, from playing intramural sports to on-campus employment. Students have the chance to seek a part-time or full-time position through Career Services located in the classroom center. On-campus jobs are preferred over other sources of employment for many reasons.
“They are convenient and employers cooperate with student’s schedules,” Kim Muller, of Career Services, said.
One of the perks of on-campus employment is schedule flexibility. Employers at WT know that school comes first and they work best to accommodate the student and their needs. On-campus positions are held by a lot of students that have not had work experience before and they do have a preference.
“Jobs that do not require a specific skill set or a lot of expertise such as weight room attendants, lifeguards, and front desk attendants,” Muller said.
Student workers are very helpful around the university and the employers love having them around. Devon Cassetty, a sophomore agriculture economics major from Bellevue, works in the scholarship office.
“I chose a job on campus because I live in the dorms and don’t have a car, and it’s the most convenient way to work while in college for me,” she said.
Not every student that attends WT has transportation, so on-campus jobs make earning money possible. One of the main concerns for a freshman or transfer student is the time; new students do not always know what to expect, that is why on-campus jobs make things go smoothly. They help students while allowing flexibility and options.
“Juggling classes with work for me has not been difficult because I enjoy my job, I go to class then come to work,” Cassetty said.
Freshmen who come to WT are starting all over and are learning all about Canyon and Amarillo. Canyon is a small town, with the nearest city being Amarillo, which is at least a 15 minute drive without traffic. On-campus jobs allow for students to be only a few steps away from a place to work, earn money, and make friends.
“Being a student worker has allowed me to meet new people and become friends with students from other majors that I probably would not have met otherwise,” Cassetty said.
Having friends in college is very important, they make everything a little bit easier. WT offers a wide variety of clubs and organizations, but something about the people you work with has a different effect. Co-workers become a huge part in having a job, they know what you go through and they know how to solve problems in your office when you get stuck. Student employment also allows for mingling of the majors, like Cassetty mentioned. WT is very diverse but once you have chosen a major, you are in that group and you get to know the people in the same area. Agriculture kids get the opportunity to meet theater kids all because of an on-campus job, a big reason these jobs should not be overlooked.
However, with the good, there can be downfalls. Madison Smith, a sophomore agriculture communications major from Tallahassee, Florida, has had some bumps in the on-campus road.
“I have gone in for interviews before and when I don’t get them I keep trying but it seems like there’s just not enough jobs to go around,” she said.
On-campus positions are highly sought after and because of that, their demand is high. Although this is the case, WT can only open more opportunities when budgets are available, so the best thing a student who is looking for an on-campus job can do is to stay on Buff Jobs and make sure they are ready, so when a job does become available, they can quickly apply for it.
Something that might cross a student’s mind is what about after graduation, what is going to happen to my job then. After a student worker graduates, they have six months to find a job before they are not considered a student anymore and must leave their student worker position. Many student workers find where they want to work pretty quickly after, through internships and other resources. If a student finds themselves stuck, they can always look into a full-time position at WT, which is not uncommon. Allissa Coleman, from Dalhart, graduated from WT in May of 2016. Coleman worked in Educational Services as a student worker and worked her way up to the full-time position of Administration Assistant.
“I was excited about having a full time job opportunity before I graduated college,” Coleman said.
Many students find themselves a job on-campus and grow with the university, and with the experience they would come with and the references, they have better chance of employment.
Student workers are a great addition to the WT staff and they will always be welcomed. Students learn skills that help them in their future work place; they learn to be professionals, gain references and are able to network. References are important when accepting a job as a student worker, so if you have a reference from the president of the university, you will always be one step ahead of someone who does not. On top of references, students will gain the skills that they would not gain being anywhere else, such as Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Finally, learning how to be a professional, students learn how to speak to others and how to be respectful to their superiors.
On campus jobs have their ups and they have a few downs, but mostly they are worth every second of the applications and tedious information because of all the benefits students receive when working for WT.