If you walk into an office at PSU, chances are you’ll be assisted by a work-study student at the front desk. Currently, PSU has 788 work-study student workers employed. These students have been a great asset to department offices all over campus; they carry on similar responsibilities as their non work-study colleagues. As a work-study student, I’ve gained a lot of office experience working at the Department of Communication for 3 years. Although we work individually to complete certain tasks that are handed to us, we’re also given projects that require us to work as a team. In my experience, work-study students do a lot more than just answer phone calls and help people at the front desk.
Amyl Freeburg, English Department Office manager, feels that the hiring process has a lot to do with the students that work at their department. “When hiring, you have to realize that it’s a real job and that there are expectations.” While conducting interviews for work-study students, I was constantly asked if they would be able to do school work, as the word “work-study” can be deceiving. However, work-study does not mean students are getting paid to lounge around an office while they study for their next final. It’s expected that we work and keep ourselves busy during our shifts; there’s always something to do.
The department of World Languages and Literatures has 11 work-study student workers. Elise Wagner, World Languages and Literatures Office Coordinator, believes that having student workers available is crucial to the effectiveness of their office. “It’s necessary to have someone at the desk if I need to go across the hall or run errands.” Students also are able to gain work experience before graduating. Meagin Cray, World Languages and Literatures Office Assistant, feels that her experience as a student worker at PSU has prepared her for future office jobs and has given her a behind-the-scenes look at the university system. “They don’t run the university, but they’re part of the fabric in the system” Wagner says.
What are your work-study experiences?