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A guide to employment on campus

Tom McCormick

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For many students, the process of seeking on-campus employment at UNF can be confusing and even daunting. The dizzying swell of questions can deter a student from snagging a job, given the fact that college life is already stressful. Luckily, the process is not as complicated as one might think and it comes with many perks and benefits along the way.

“There are all kinds of [opportunities] in every single department across campus,” said Carrie Guth, director of employment at UNF. “Everybody needs help, and it’s a great way to get experience.”

Most student employment on campus falls under the category of student assistant, according to UNF’s human resources department. The first step to seeking employment in one of these positions would be to visit unfjobs.org and browse the publicly listed postings of jobs available. A position can be found in most of the University’s numerous departments, from chemistry to athletics. However, this isn’t the only means of finding an opportunity.

“Some departments don’t even advertise,” said Guth. “So, they’ll have a job for a student assistant and they’ll know someone they want to hire. It won’t even be a public posting. It’s really about getting to know your instructors and talking to them…we highly recommend getting your instructors to recommend you for jobs, because, just like the real world, it’s about who you know.”

Cultivating a good relationship with professors and instructors can bring opportunities for employment as well. If a professor knows of an opening for a student assistant position, they are likely to recommend students who stand out to them and with whom they have developed a personal relationship. This is a key step for a student to gain networking skills that will serve them well in the future, and it all starts with professors. Landing a spot as a student assistant now could even potentially lead to work as a graduate assistant in the future.

The Federal Work Study (FWS) program is a way by which students demonstrating financial need can be employed part-time, intended to help eligible students earn money to pay for various college expenses. To find out about eligibility, one must apply for financial aid through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Upon completion, those interested should reach out to UNF’s Financial Aid Office and request to be placed on the FWS waitlist. Those eligible may work up to 20 hours per week during the term and earnings are exempt from federal taxes, as is the case with most other jobs on campus.

As a student, on-campus jobs are exempt from what’s called the FICA tax, which funds the federal Social Security and Medicare programs. This offers a big incentive for students to seek out employment with the University rather than working an external, off-campus job. However, this isn’t the only perk that comes with a job on campus.

“Student employees would be eligible to do voluntary retirement savings plans,” said Jennifer Neidhardt, Director of Benefits and Retirement. “So, they can take some of their paycheck and put it into a retirement savings plan if they want to, completely voluntarily. If the student works more than 30 hours a week, then they would be eligible to enroll in health insurance and some other insurance plans.”

Ultimately, there are many opportunities for students to get their feet wet with regards to networking and employment. Along with the benefits and perks that come with a job on campus, student assistant and other on-campus jobs provide a chance for students to gain valuable work experience and bolster their resumes.

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A guide to employment on campus