Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A Win-Win Proposition

Another great thing about the beginning of the school year? The student workers are back!

Through the Learn and Earn program, a campus job is offered to any student that wants one. I never realized how unique this is to Bluffton University until my son went to college (at another school – long story). I’m on his case to get a campus job and he’s saying “But I’m not a work-study student. A what?

But I hadn’t thought of it from a larger school perspective. They wouldn’t have enough jobs to offer to all interested students. Another plus for the smaller school!

We so rely on our student workers at Bluffton. Our campus jobs are not gimmes. Our students are doing real work that is important to our success and that gives them great work experience.

For example: last weekend a “Game Day @ Bluffton” event was held to celebrate the home opening football game. Individualized invitations were created by a summer intern (a senior art major/graphic design minor) to send to prospective student-athletes for women's basketball, men's basketball, baseball, softball and football. What an amazing learning experience for her to not only create the different postcards, but see the project through the printing process. And then to see the results when 70 prospective students arrived on campus for the day.

Student writers research and compose news releases about future events; a web assistant helps ensure Web content is up-to-date; a photographer/intern takes photos, writes captions and helps with other general PR duties; a student secretary processes mailings; and that’s just in the public relations office. There are also students working as research assistants, admissions ambassadors, general office assistants, clerks, as well as janitors and Buildings & Grounds workers.

So why am I so excited that the student workers are back? There is so much to do that one could easily become buried beneath a pile of minutia. To have competent student workers, who are willing and able to take some of the load, and receive life lessons and build their resumes and portfolios at the same time – what a Win-Win Proposition!


  1. My experience writing news releases for the communications office at Bluffton was – as they say – priceless. My boss taught me to write AP style, compose on a typewriter rather than writing everything out long-hand then type, gather news, be organized… I’m convinced that without that experience, I would not be where I am today. My first job out of college was managing editor of a small town weekly newspaper, with a total staff of 1 1/2 persons! Not bad for someone fresh out of college.

  2. My campus job was working in, and eventually managing, the computer lab. The computer lab at that time was in the basement on Lincoln Hall. It was nice and warm down there....all year long! I helped setup and troubleshoot the computers there too. When I started we had monochrome monitors. I helped run wire to network the computers before my senior year. I work in IT and have worked in Tech Support. Working in Tech Support was similar to working in the lab.

  3. I was a Food Service worker in the dishroom freshmen year at 6:45 AM. Needless to say that didn't last long. I was able to become a janitor washing showers in Bren Dell and finally scored a one of the best campus jobs working in the tech center. I eventually became a supervisor there. This experience, managing students of all ages, helped prepare me for my current job as a database administrator.