When freshmen and sophomores arrive on Kent State campus, many realize they need a job as start-of-semester expenses start to add up. 

Hundreds of them will end up working on-campus, but they must first decide if the time commitment is possible for them.

“Students who work on-campus have a higher retention rate and actually do better academically than students who do not work at all,” associate director of Career Exploration and Development, Keith Smith said. Smith added that learning to balance work, life and school early on will help students carry those skills into their careers after graduation.

Kent State uses Handshake, a website that creates a network of jobs and opportunities, to accept applications for on-campus employment. Smith estimates there are between 4,000 and 5,000 student employees and 8,000 to 9,000 jobs available each year. Although dining halls often seem like the only jobs advertised, there are a wide variety of options. Positions are open for work with Recreational Services, University Libraries, Residence Services and more.

For example, freshman special education major Victoria Glover recently got hired as a supporting instructor with the Career Community Studies Program. 

“I’m very excited because it pertains directly to my major,” Glover said.

To get a job that will provide experience for a future career, Smith advises applying for multiple jobs. From there, choose which one fits your needs and schedule best. 

“If you cast a wide net, you can get some feedback,” Smith said.

Once the applications and interviews are over, prospective hires will receive a job offer via email with forms to sign. The next step is ID verification, for which domestic students need both a photo ID, like a FLASHcard or driver’s license, and a legal document, like a birth certificate or Social Security card. A passport satisfies both requirements and completes the last step before employees can get to work.

These emails also include expected pay and weekly hours. Domestic students cannot exceed 28 hours, and international students cannot go over 20 hours per week. Smith estimates the average hourly pay for an on-campus job at $10. 

For students seeking employment, there is an upcoming career fair on September 22. With 250 employers, this event and others like it are the places to “cast a wide net” and find many opportunities. In addition, the office of Career Exploration and Development offers students support through mock interviews, resume reviews, and advising appointments to facilitate their transition into the professional world.

Sophie is a general assignment reporter. Contact her at syoung93@kent.edu.

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