On or Off Campus?
When Tyson McBride applied for a full-time job at UPS at the end of 2009, the company told him thanks, but no thanks. Because he was a full-time student, had classes during the day and his hours were limited, UPS instead offered him a job as temporary seasonal employee, a lower end position.
McBride, who has now been at UPS for over a year, is still on the wait list for a full-time job. Although he could have gotten an on-campus job that worked with his schedule, he said this job is providing him with steady pay and real world experience. He is also getting a benefits package not offered by on-campus employment.
“(You’re) going into the real, professional world,” said McBride, a sophomore in psychology. “Your schedule has to meet their needs.”
As students struggle with the expenses of college life, many opt to work full- or part-time to make ends meet. According to USU’s budget tuition and fees chart, the cost of tuition has more than doubled in the past 10 years. Due to budget cuts and demand, this is on track with rises in tuition for four-year public colleges around the country, but it still puts a strain on student wallets.
Paula Johnson, human resources coordinator over student employment, estimates USU employs 6,300 people in a given year. She also estimated the average pay is around $8 per hour, slightly above minimum wage. By finding on-campus work, she said, students may find jobs more flexible and specific to their major.
Ashley Lee, a freshman in dietetics, works in the card office in the TSC. She can’t have more than 20 hours a week, doesn’t have to work holidays, and can work on homework when the office is slow.
“It’s nice to not have to drive anywhere,” she said. “The people who work here are awesome. I was lucky to get this job,”
Although Lee suspects she would get better pay at an off-campus job, she loves the office environment and making ID cards and selling tickets.
“I’ll probably work here my whole college life,” she said.
Not just 9-5
When sophomore Wendy Fugal found Etsy.com, she wasn’t looking for a job. While taking a year off of school, she found herself bored and slightly restless. When her sister-in-law introduced her to Etsy, a website that allowed her to use her flair for graphic design to make some extra cash, she was instantly hooked.
Etsy is a virtual craft fair that allows users to buy and sell homemade goods. In Fugal’s case this translates into small sewing projects, hand-melted farm crayons, and her best sellers, printables.
Printables are items like invitations, gift tags and cards Fugal’s buyers can print out at home, ending the hassle and cost of shipping. These are Wendy’s biggest profit-makers because they cost nothing to produce. With other projects like sewing, she said, the cost of materials add up fast often leaving the producer with little profit.
On a normal basis, Wendy works 1-2 hours a week and pulled in around $1,000 profit last year.
“Don’t be afraid of starting a store,” she said. “List things often and make things that are fun to make. Even if you’re making money, if you’re miserable it’s not worth it.”
On Etsy, if items don’t get sold within the first few days they often take three to four months, Fugal said. For those looking for faster cash, Biomat USA is a popular place for college students to make a quick buck by giving plasma, the yellow liquid component of blood. The process is the same as taking blood, and according to Biomat’s website, plasma regenerates quickly, within 24-48 hours, and the procedure has few or no side affects.
Josh Kamerath, a medical supervisor at the Logan Biomat center, estimates 70 percent of those who come into the Logan center are students. All you need to get started, he said, is a social security card, a photo I.D. and proof of residency.
Plasma can be given twice a week, with at least 24 hours between donations. Biomat gives $20 the first time in a week and $35 dollars the second. This is a potential $220 a month, a helpful stipend to any college budget.
For some students, this money is textbook or tuition money, but for freshman Courtney Toolsen, a speech language pathology major, it’s just a easy way to make quick cash.
“I want an iPhone, so I’ll come here four times a month,” she said.
For Daniel Tanner, a sophomore in business, it’s a way to earn some spending cash.
“I just enjoy it because it’s fast,” he said. “This is my mad money.”
A not-so-average summer
For some, said Patrica Schiess, a general manager at the Bar T 5, Jackson is a once-in-a-lifetime vacation, but for students it can be a summer job experience they’ll never forget.
Founded in 1974, The Bar T started as a dinner and horseback trip up Cache Creek Canyon. In the early ‘80s, wagons replaced horseback, more similar to what the company does today. The Bar T runs two shows a night from late May through early September which include dinner, a ride up the canyon and a performance with live music by the employees.
The employees, many college age, are often cross-trained so everybody learns how to do everything including to cooking and driving a wagon. The only requirement, Schiess said, is to come willing to help.
“They come at night in their boots, hats and chaps and it’s an adventure these kids will never get get do anywhere else,” she said.
In addition to the nightly show, the Bar T also runs a four-day trip into the Teton Mountains. Besides the cooking and greeting positions, The Bar T also offers positions in management, accounting and desk work. They also offer internships.
“You get to spend the whole summer in Jackson Hole with people from all over the world,” Schiess said. “It’s a really neat experience and you make life-long friends.”
The Bar T 5 hires students from all over the state, but draws especially from USU. They are represented at USU’s summer job fair yearly, Schiess said. Their biggest recruitment though, is word of mouth. Friends tell friends and brothers and sisters often work side by side.
“We become family throughout the summer. It gets in your blood and is a big part of life as you move on,” she said.
The summer job fair will be held Feb. 8 in the TSC. Many companies such as Bar T 5, The National Park Service and Convergys will be on-site explaining and interviewing for summer positions.