Some students still searching for work-study jobs

By on October 10, 2007

Liberal Arts Administrative Assistant Betsy Delaney has her own thoughts about the shortage of work-study jobs on campus. “I feel so bad. [Students] are all so happy to receive work study because they can get a job on campus, but then get here and can’t find anything.”

Each year as Quinnipiac University accepts a new wave of students, there is a percentage of those students who are awarded federal work study. However, the number of students who receive the federal aid and the number of jobs on campus is not matching up. Many students are facing problems finding a job.

“There are more students than jobs, without a doubt,” said Dominic Yoia, senior director of financial aid. “Unfortunately there are not enough funds. The government has not increased those funds in several years and actually each year they seem to be cutting back a little bit. There’s no question, we have more students than jobs.”

The Federal Work-Study program provides part-time jobs for undergraduate and graduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses.

“There is a certain amount of work study money that gets divvied up among all schools every year across the country. We get an allocation in the beginning of the year and we have to decide how to proportion that money,” Yoia said. “You have to give it to the neediest students first and work your way down.”

Once students receive work study, they are given the opportunity to accept or decline the package.

“We award a lot more work study than we have jobs because we know not every student accepts it, wants it, or needs it. So probably one out of four students we award will actually work,” Yoia said.

However, students that accept work study are still unable to find jobs.

Tami Reilly, assistant athletic director for fitness and wellness, hires workers for the fitness center, a job that seems to be popular among students.

“We interviewed at least 150 students and I hired probably 14,” Reilly said. “I think the number of people interviewed was about the same as last year. We get a lot of people to interview for athletics positions. I think they are some of the most sought after jobs on campus.”

Meghan Trull, a sophomore physical therapy major, was hired to work at the fitness center her freshman year.

“The problem is that there is a shortage of jobs that people enjoy. There are a lot of openings at the Polling Institute, but people don’t want to work there because they think it’s boring,” Trull said. “Working here we have human interaction. That’s why I think the gym and admissions are the top two that go.”

The university is supposed to keep track of job openings and closings.

Quinnipiac has a Web site for students to show the jobs that are available at the present time. The Web site,, gives a listing of all available jobs from each department. Listed along with the job is usually a job description. Once jobs become available they are activated onto the Web site for students to see.

“I’ve come up with a spreadsheet of the different jobs, showing which are currently active and which are not active. I’ve sent it out twice asking supervisors if there are any that need to be opened up, or any new ones. I try to do that on an ongoing basis,” said Lynn Carlson, the student and staff employment specialist.

Kelly O’Connell, a junior print journalism major, had her fair share of problems with the work study shortage this year.

“I set up my job in the spring last year so I wouldn’t have to worry about it. However, I am not getting enough hours because there isn’t room for me on the schedule.”

Since the competition for jobs is so intense, how can students stand out? Delaney gave tips as to what catches her attention.

“Some students come in with their resume which shows they are on the ball. When you get that many e-mails, the student who brings in the resume, gives them a little leeway. Even if all it says is that they flipped burgers somewhere for a year it doesn’t matter, we are just impressed with the fact that they took the time to make one and bring it in.”

The job shortage at Quinnipiac is being worked on. The college of liberal arts has created a few jobs in the psychology department. Six professors have moved their office to the law school; therefore jobs have now been created.

According to Carlson, there is an effort to add more jobs by creating new positions.

“For example a job was added that was kind of unique. It was a law professor looking for someone to do role playing with his class,” Carlson said.

Delaney said the number of kids grow every year and the number of jobs seems to not. Her advice to students looking for a job is “to go in person, office to office as soon as you get to school. One on one contact really is much more effective than an e-mail. Also the resume thing really works; it shows your high work potential, even if there is barely anything on it.”

The work study shortage is a problem here but students are optimistic that it can be fixed.

“I think there is a work study shortage here at Quinnipiac but I think you can find a job if you search really hard. It’s not going to come out to you, you need to go out and find it,” O’Connell said.


About Melissa Moller