Natalie Hahn, '15, helps a first-year student with her engineering lab assignment that involves 3-D printing at the Wilbur Powerhouse Lab on Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014. One of the main jobs Natalie has is answering questions about the unique machines at the Wilbur Powerhouse, which contributes to student learning. (Tiffanie Chai/B&W photo)

Lehigh jobs not just for faculty: Students benefit from work-study opportunities

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Lehigh offers a wide variety of job options for students whose financial aid packages allow work-study opportunities. These jobs on campus encompass all facets of student life, and students can apply for jobs that relate to their area of academic or recreational interest.

“It’s a great opportunity for students to get financial aid, but also make a small salary while balancing prestigious academics,” Madeline Walsh, ’17, said.

Walsh currently has a work-study position assisting Julia Ammary in the leadership development program for athletics.

Cailee Cassidy, ’16, also takes advantage of the work-study options for students. She currently works in Linderman and Fairchild-Martindale libraries.

“I like that I can do homework and see a lot of my friends while I’m working,” Cassidy said.

Students can go online to the Lehigh website and browse the extensive catalog of work-study options. Many students said the jobs that are the most fun and the most desirable are the ones that involve things they are interested and engaged in.

“I love sports, as I was involved in the lacrosse team at Lehigh,” Caroline Haynie, ’17, said. “So it was easy for me to apply for a work-study job assisting sports medicine — filing paperwork in the office, assisting the trainers during football practice and monitoring intramural sports games.”

Bryan Hodgenson, a supervisor in the computer science and engineering department, said there are varying degrees of difficulty among the work-study jobs.

“When discussing available work with students, my blurb line for the lab monitor job is ‘we want to pay you to study,’” Hodgenson said.  “My blurb line for the junior sysadmin job is: ‘there are easier ways to earn your money.’  Some people enjoy the challenges and learning experiences that job offers.”

The current wages for work-study jobs range from $7.25 to $10.00 per hour.  However, students are limited in the maximum amount of money they can earn based on their financial aid package. Also, students cannot work more than 20 hours per week while school is in session.

“Work-study is a fantastic opportunity to get your financial aid money while gaining valuable work experience,” said Ammary, a supervisor in the leadership development program for athletics. “Especially if you are connected to a functional area that is related to your career interests or strengths.”

Ammary also said students gain many benefits from having work-study jobs, such as learning how to time-manage and report to a supervisor.

Hodgenson also said these jobs are beneficial for students.

“Probably the biggest benefit for students is that their work-study funds do not arrive in the form of yet another loan that they will take with them when they graduate,” Hodgenson said.

Although students without financial aid are not eligible for these work-study opportunities, many of those individuals pursue jobs off-campus.

Margaret Fitzwilliam, ’16, found that the on-campus job selection was limited and decided to look off-campus for a job. She said the only two on-campus jobs she knows of that do not require work-study are the Lehigh Liners and the Child Care Center.

“If you have work-study, it is easy to find a job,” she said. “But if you do not have work-study, it is difficult to find a job on campus.”

Fitzwilliam was able to find a job at the J. Crew Whitehall store in the Lehigh Valley Mall thanks to a referral from one of her previous jobs at the J. Crew store near her home.

She also said some of her peers work at off-campus restaurants and stores, such as Sotto Santi, an Italian restaurant on East Fourth Street and Yankee Candle at the Lehigh Valley Mall.

In terms of work hours, she said she was able to pick her hours based on her availability.

“I do not have the time to work unlimited hours, so I requested to work 10 to 15 hours a week,” she said. “I usually work two times during the week in the morning (usually from 7 a.m. to noon) and once on the weekends (usually from 2 p.m. -to 7 p.m).”

In terms of salary, certain off-campus jobs may pay more because they are not limited by a certain financial aid package. So for those who have a car, working at an off-campus location, such as the mall, could be a better option.

“I think that having an off-campus job that earns more would be beneficial for a small disposable income while at school,” Walsh said.

Both on-campus work-study options and off-campus part-time jobs have distinct benefits for students. Students can make their decision about this job choice based on whether or not they have a financial aid package. Most importantly, students should pick jobs that best interest them and enrich their daily lives.

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1 Comment

  1. We have three work-study students on our work team in the library and they truly are valuable contributors. I just finished helping a student through the process of creating keyword-rich bibliographic records that she then loaded into a research database that has a membership of almost 17,000 libraries around the world. Besides Lehigh, other libraries, and researchers, will benefit from this work that she did. Our work-study students are valuable assets to us and we’re fortunate to have them as members of our team.

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