Imagine saving time, transportation costs, and working in an environment where your bosses value your education above all. For PCC students, this is a possible reality. Students can meet new interesting people everyday while working and still have control over how much time they have for studying. Imagine: leisurely strolling to your job the building over from your last class of the day rather than sitting in Pasadena rush hour traffic.
For many students, juggling school and work can be one of the hardest, most stressful things about college. PCC student workers however- people who work on campus positions- feel the convenience of going from class to work within a matter of minutes is worth the extra time at school.
Alanna Jackson, Operations Manager of the PCC Bookstore, said they hired approximately anywhere from 30-40 people right now for the busiest weeks of the semester. Jackson is a PCC alum who worked in the old PCC bookstore; she transferred here internationally from Canada.
“[T]here are quite a few international students we hired, that is why I was working at the bookstore… [international students] are only allowed to work on campus,” Jackson said. “I definitely want to help with that because I know jobs on campus are limited. [T]hey need to have opportunities on campus and for other students, I think it is really easy to be able to have a three hour break in between class and you can come in and work for a couple hours, make some extra money. You’re already here, it’s less travel, less time waste since you can start right after your class ends.”
According to the PCC Employment page, jobs on campus for students are 20 hour maximum, part time jobs. These positions also require students to be enrolled in at least 6 credits for Fall and Spring semesters. This allows students to still be able to work a reasonable amount and still be full time students.
To Sylvia Ray, full-time PCC student who works for the bookstore, the option of working an on campus job is a life saver.
“I don’t drive,” Ray states. “ I have to take the bus and train to get here so it’s more convenient for me to work on campus. After my classes, I come to the bookstore and work. They know I’m a full time student so they work with my schedule very well. It’s convenient, they’re flexible with your hours, and it gives you good experience within the school. Being more involved is a benefit to a campus job.”
Jonathan Hernandez is a current PCC student who also works in the campus bookstore.
“Working on campus is so much easier,” he said. “It’s like, leave a class in five minutes and be here instead of having to commute for thirty minutes. For me, it is either school and then work or work and then school.”
“They understand that you are a student,” Hernandez continued. “If you work for Target or Walmart, they aren’t as understanding and that’s one of the things having a campus job lets you do. The staff will work with you, they’re more flexible, which is nice because then you’re not as stressed out.”
Shannon Slater is a mathematics tutor and PCC student. His experience of student work is one of convenience and career preparation.
“Campus jobs are much easier than off-campus jobs. Although the pay is generally lower than off-campus jobs I’ve had, it makes up for it with a great work environment, and the convenience of being at school, so I can save on traveling costs,” said Slater.
“The places on campus where I work obviously know all their workers are students,” he continued. “So they are extraordinarily flexible when it comes to scheduling you around your specific class schedule. That is a huge reason I prefer on campus jobs, so understanding of school schedule is a big factor in deciding where to work.”
Slater is hoping to become a mathematics teacher so trying his hand at teaching while studying for his career is an invaluable opportunity.
The priority for education was also reiterated by former federal work study student and current PCC Shatford Library Access Services librarian, Lena Hicks.
“We do work around the student’s class schedule. So class schedule takes priority,” said Hicks. “Some students opt to not work the full 20 hours a week and we honor that. We don’t want the job to get in the way of academics. We don’t want their academics to suffer.”
“There’s opportunities for team building, customer service skills, organization skills, skills that can all be transferred to other professions,” she continued. “We want to give them that opportunity for professional growth, keeping in mind that their academics come first.”