Being a college student, it is nice to have $5 in the wallet for that last-minute coffee on the way to a 9 a.m. class.
“It’s good to have extra money. No college kid is gonna say no to more money,” senior mechanical engineering major Noah Rodrigues said.
However, classes all morning and club involvement or social activities in the afternoon sometimes make it difficult to hold down a part-time job. With flexible hours and close proximity, on-campus jobs can be a solution that lets students optimize their time while still putting money in the bank.
“The convenience of being on campus, doing all your classes, then being able to walk to your next job and being able to put in hours between your classes is a true convenience tool,” Mānoa Career Center Director Wendy Sora said.
Over 4,000 students work on campus at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, according to the Mānoa Career Center website. There is a diverse range of on-campus job offerings at UH Mānoa. From food service and retail to even graphic design, students can scroll through hundreds of options on the Mānoa Career Center’s SECE database.
“I can guarantee you at any given time of the year, there are always student employee vacancies and jobs for students to apply for,” Sora said.
A search for job openings in July produced 241 results for the UH Mānoa campus. Even for students with little to no work experience, SECE offers many entry-level positions. Additionally, a little-known benefit of working on campus is that entry-level workers can still expect rates above Hawai‘i’s $10.10 per hour minimum wage.
On-campus jobs also give opportunities for students to build experience toward their future careers or to work in jobs that parallel their studies.
“We have students who are science-based majors who are working in labs or working with faculty who are doing research,” Sora said. “You know, things that not only give you the work experience but also fuel the passions that you have too.”
Working as a Campus Center service associate
Katherine Villanueva, a senior majoring in public health, has worked as a Campus Center service associate at the Ticket, Information & ID Office for a little over a year. A typical day at her job includes issuing student ID’s and U-Passes, selling movie, concert or event tickets, and helping students assemble proper documentation for passports. For Villanueva, this job served as a good introduction into a professional work setting.
“I wanted a different job from the one I grew up having — I grew up doing landscape with my dad — and I think this was a very good starting point to start working in an office and in a more adult setting,” Villanueva said.
Working as a student tour guide
Senior nursing student Airah Shayne Martin and Noah Rodrigues are student tour guides at the Office of Admissions. They have worked for a little over two years and a little over a year, respectively. As student tour guides, they give daily tours and help out at different admissions events, such as accepted student receptions. Like many on-campus jobs, Rodrigues said that the student tour guide position is convenient for his schedule.
“I can finish my class at 2:30, come here, give a tour, and then go back to the dorms and chill and rest and do homework,” Rodrigues said.
In contrast to off-campus jobs, these jobs appeal to students because the employer understands the academic demands of a full-time student.
“When I work on campus, I know that my boss is really flexible with my schedule,” Martin said. “I’m a nursing student, which means I have exams and I have to study all the time, so she understands when I have to call off work to put some time aside to study with some of my classmates or go to tutoring.”
To find jobs like these, interested students can visit hawaii.edu/sece/ or drop by the Mānoa Career Center to explore job openings.