College presents a host of exciting opportunities – new faces, classes, and a kickstarter to your career, but it can also present new challenges. Juggling schoolwork and student organizations, while also gaining that much-needed job experience, can seem daunting with only 24 hours in a day.

One of the ways I’ve managed to tackle my goals, while still sleeping occasionally, is by getting a job as a student intern, or student worker.

These are the students who might check you in to see your advisor or check out books to you from the library. They sit behind information desks at the MSC or design the posters you see advertising university events around campus. These jobs offer real-world experience in nearly any area of interest and can be a perfect way to get paid to build your resume.

WHERE TO BEGIN?

A great way to start your search for a student worker position is to create a profile on Jobs for Aggies, a website designed to help students find local part-or full-time jobs.

Next, do a search for the kind of job you want, and just start scrolling.

Jobs for Aggies is how I got my current position. I’d heard it was a good place to start searching for a part-time job, and I knew I wanted to work on campus. I created a profile, searched and applied for a few positions until I was contacted via email for a job.

Diane Oswald, who at the time was the communications director for the College of Nursing, was looking for a communications intern, and she thought my previous experience as a writing tutor would be suited for the work. I interviewed and was hired.

After working with her for a semester, Diane took a job as Director of Communications at the College of Architecture and offered to bring me with her. It was a larger college, with a more robust communications team and new learning opportunities.

When Diane hired me, she promised me two things: experience and an expanded portfolio. After a year of working with her, I can say she has far over-delivered on that promise. As part of the communications team at the College of Architecture, I help with social media, graphic design, press releases, news articles, photography, videography, and much more, all fields I hope to explore in my future career.

SO WHY DO IT?

Student workers are not always just copy makers or coffee runners. Texas A&M offers incredible internship opportunities giving students real experience and connections related to the careers they’re pursuing.

The added benefits include flexible hours and the convenience of working where you go to school. Faculty and staff also recognize the importance of study, and allow flexible hours based around classes and other obligations.

Another added benefit are the people you work with. The faculty and staff will often mentor you and help you succeed. I’ve learned so much from working at the College of Architecture, and I’ve been able to make many connections with industry professionals I would not have had access to otherwise.

For example, one incredible opportunity I had was interviewing and writing an article about Michelle Robinson, a former student and current Walt Disney animator. Through her, I was connected to a Disney communications specialist, and she gave me advice for a future job at Walt Disney Animation. This never would have happened had I not interned at the College of Architecture.

These are just some of the perks you can get as a student worker, but nothing beats gaining valuable experience for your future career while still being able to excel as a student.

For more information, contact rnira@arch.tamu.edu or doswald@tamu.edu.