College is expensive, shockingly expensive. Nevermind that looming $100,000+ bill you’ll face in a few years — what about all the textbooks, notebooks, pens, pencils and flash drives you need now? Coupled with the odds and ends you’ll soon realize you left at home, suitable weekend entertaininment, and impulse purchases, you might find yourself a little strapped for cash.
If you’re looking for a place to work, the best place to start is undoubtedly the Student Employment Office (SEO). Located in room 1350 of the Center for Student Innovation (CSI, 87), the SEO exists to help students navigate the various ins and outs of getting a job.
Before you start looking for work, you’ll need to stop in at the office and obtain an SEO card; a quick and painless process. For U.S. Citizens or permanent residents, the process requires just a U.S. passport, or a driver’s license along with either a Social Security card or birth certificate. Foreign students must present an F-1 Visa with I-20 or a J-1 Visa with DS-2019. Only original and unexpired documents are accepted, so be sure to go in prepared. You’ll also be required to fill out an I-9 form in the office with some basic information and you’ll recieve your SEO card the same day.
After obtaining your the card, you can begin looking for employment opportunities on campus. Most on-campus job listings can be found on the Student Employment Office’s website, which includes a basic rundown of responsibilities and any required qualifications. Contact information is provided under each listing, and students are encouraged to get in touch with those looking to hire.
Amanda Feeney, assistant director of the SEO, stresses how important professionalism is in these situations, even if you’re just looking to be an assistant burger-flipper. She recommends you have your résumé and SEO card on hand and always look professional. If you do decide to just walk in looking for a job, Feeney suggests improving your chances of talking with someone by going during slower work hours. If you have any trouble finding a job, the SEO encourages students to contact the office directly to try and find a solution that can get you earning some dough.
Alternatively, if you’re looking to branch out from the RIT campus, the SEO has job listings for various local off-campus positions as well. Thesejobs are generally not linked to the SEO or RIT; the SEO merely acts as a means for local stores to gain access to cheap student labor. (Let’s face it; most of us would work for pizza and Mountain Dew.) Because of this, the SEO makes no guarantee about the safety, wages or working conditions of these places, or that you’ll even be hired. It remains an interesting venture, however, and if you have a means of transportation or a particularly specialized skill, it could be worth the look.
Getting a job is a personal choice, but whether your current financial situation demands it or you’d just like a little extra money in your pocket, the SEO is an easy first step to finding work while in school. So do a bit of research, ask around, and see about taking on a little responsibility — you’ll come away with some experience, some good stories and all that sweet green.
For more information and current job listings, check out the SEO website at http://rit.edu/emcs/seo