Daily Archives: December 12, 2011

SkidMolly: The Ins and Outs of Work-Study

Greetings earthlings.  I write to you in a very good mood, having just turned in the last paper of the semester — two exams and I’ll be 7/8ths finished with college.  Occasionally I’ll think of a question that you prospective students might have, and I’ll try to pre-emptively answer the question so you don’t have to go all the way to my Formspring box and ask it.  That’s right — I’m trying to READ YA MINDS.  Spooky.  So here’s some basic information on work-study, that hallowed institution intended to get some cold, hard cash into student wallets.

THAT MONEY IS FOR YOU, KID

When I first saw my financial aid package included a work-study agreement, I didn’t understand what work-study was.  I thought it was some baroque way of slowly funneling minimum wage paychecks to help pay tuition or room and board.  Nope!  At Skidmore, the money you make from work-study goes straight to you and is meant to cover the extra costs not included right on the bill: textbooks, art supplies, travel costs, doing your stinky laundry.  Working at an on-campus job means having a little extra cash for all the predictable and unforeseen costs of going to college.  Plus, you can receive your money by direct-deposit into your checking account, or it can be put on your Skid Card payroll.

GIDDY UP FOR DINING SERVICES

If you are a first-year student who got a work-study agreement as part of your financial aid package, you can pretty much expect to work in the dining hall or another dining services location for your first.  It’s not so bad, and if you’ve ever worked a food service job before, it’s actually easy as pie in comparison — easy as a slice of d-hall blueberry pie.  Jobs include making sandwiches in the deli station, swiping people into d-hall, selling coffee at the Burgess Café, washing dishes, flipping burgers, you get the idea.  It might feel like drudgery, especially in comparison with all the cool academic and social stuff you’ll be doing, but don’t fret.  It is as fun as you make it.  I loved working at the deli station because it meant I could interact with dozens of people without having to move!  Like speed-dating, except not!  And now I pride myself on my sandwich-making abilities.

THEN YOU CAN WORK ANYWHERE!

Well, you can’t work as a professor…I hear you probably need a PhD to do that.  But the job opportunities really open up after freshman year: you can work as a tour guide/student ambassador in Admissions, an office assistant in Career Services, in the box office of Zankel, as a TA for a studio art class, as a student caller for the Annual Fund…anything goes.  You search for job opportunities on the Skidmore site, apply, and start working.  Simple as that.  I started as an Admissions ambassador, giving tours to prospective students and parents (thus mastering the art of walking backwards) and filing paperwork in the office.  Then once I became an RA, I chose to start working as an office assistant in the Res Life Office, doing administrative tasks, researching other schools’ residential life policies, and occasionally wrestling with a paper shredder.  (I still work there, too.)  And blogging for Skidmore is my latest employment experience…needless to say, it’s grand as sand.  So there’s a lot you can do to make money at Skidmore, and because they know your first priority is being a student, on-campus employers are really flexible with class schedules and other concerns.

AND YOU DON’T NEED TO RECEIVE FINANCIAL AID, EITHER

I happen to get financial aid, so my work-study experiences have been from that end, but you can also find student employment at Skidmore without receiving financial aid.  Money for everyone!  Dollars raining from the sky!

Hope this gives you a good picture of what work-study and student employment are like here.  If you have questions about this or any other subject, ask me!  And a little bird (aka the WhySkidmore Twitter) told me Skidmore will send out Early Decision I decisions this week.  A big hearty good luck to everyone — please, please, tell me if you got in so I can say hello and congratulations!