Employment office helps job search

By Louise M. Koryta

College can be more expensive than many students might imagine, but job opportunities are readily available to help ease the problem of paying for an education.

Students can find on-campus employment at the Student Employment office, located in Swen Parson Hall, said Melanie Amundsen, financial aid adviser and coordinator of student employment. She said about 3,000 students are on the payroll at any given time. Between 8,000 and 10,000 applications are processed each ear, Amundsen said.

Two programs, work study and student employment, are offered through the department, Amundsen said. She said to be eligible for the student employment program an individual must be in good academic standing and take at least six hours of classes. Amundsen said only full-time students (12 hours or more) receiving financial aid are eligible for work study. Students interested in either program must fill out an application at the office.

Job openings for both programs are listed on a board outside the office, Amundsen said. Work study jobs also are listed in books in the office.

Mary Gustafson, student aide for Job Location and Development, said students can go to the office, also located in Swen Parson, to find off-campus jobs as well as summer employment.

As with the Student Employment office, Gustafson said students must be enrolled at NIU and fill out an application at the office. She said employers call the office when they have an opening. Gustafson said available jobs, with a brief description, are posted outside the office.

Some of the jobs available are technical positions that would be limited to law school or engineering students, Gustafson said. However, most are part-time jobs, she said. The office acts as a referral service rather than a career center, she said.

Types of employers range from McDonald’s to factories to temporary secretarial services agencies, Gustafson said. Some of the summer jobs are from different counties and include summer positions at Wrigley Field and Poplar Creek Theater as well as internships, she said.

Gustafson said the program has been very successful and the students seem “very happy” with the jobs they have found.

Suzie Schaap, senior in communication studies, has worked in the paste-up department at The Northern Star, NIU’s student newspaper and now is employed at Founders Memorial Library in the reserve room. She also has worked off campus at an insurance company.

Schaap said while her parents pay for the necessities of college life, her earnings help pay for social activities. Schaap said about 75 percent of her friends have jobs, and most have the same reason for employment as she does.

On-campus employers seem to be more understanding when a student has to take a day off because of a test. “It’s really easy to find someone to cover for you,” Schaap said.

Schaap works about nine hours a week. She said it is enough to earn extra money but it does not interfere with school work.

Job opportunities also are listed in the Star.