Tips From a Manager on How to Be a Great Student Worker

In my role as the Peer Engagement Coordinator for BU’s Center for Career Development and Educational Resource Center, I supervise around 15 Student Ambassadors in a student leadership program dedicated to providing terriers with academic and career related resources. In my role as supervisor, I delegate tasks, assign projects, and provide guidance.

From my own personal experience, having an on campus job is one of the best things you can do in your time at BU. You’ll make friends, gain mentors, work on projects that will help build your resume, and make lasting memories. Here are some tips that have helped me, and I have seen help others, when you are a student worker at BU.

Communication is Key

When you accept an on campus position, you are dedicating yourself to your role, and promising to do your best work, and a big part of being successful in any role is communication. Whether it be in person, via email, Slack, or some other tool, make sure to communicate clearly with your supervisor, coworkers, and teammates. Make sure you are also communicating well not just regarding updates on work tasks, but also on your personal life – if you are sick, need to take time off, etc. The further in advance you can share any updates or adjustments that need to be made, the better. The great thing about being an on-campus worker is that your supervisor knows that you have lots on your plate, and other things going on. They will be willing to work with you, to make adjustments when needed – you just need to be dedicated the rest of the time, and to communicate clearly and in a timely manner!

Get Organized

This seems like a basic one, but it cannot be stated enough. Make sure that you are organized not only in your academic life, but your personal and professional lives, too. As a student worker, all three often overlap with each other, and I recommend having one calendar (color coded, labeled, etc!) for all of it – so you can see how all your responsibilities overlap and intersect. Whether it be a paper planner, Apple cal or Google cal, or something like Notion or Trello, find what works for you, and stick with it – keep it regularly updated and on you at all times. Your on-campus job (and supervisor!) will thank you.

Get Connected, Brainstorm, and Reflect!

As mentioned, an on campus job can be so much more than a way to earn a little extra money. Make connections with your coworkers, get to know them outside the office! Many people’s closest friends they meet through their job! Keep in touch with former supervisors. Also, take time to brainstorm about what it is you want to get out of your part time job – building resume skills, finding a mentor, and professional development opportunities are all great examples. An on campus job can also give you a sense of the type of work or work environment you’ll be looking for, post-graduation. What is it you like about your job, what projects make you excited? What do you like, or not like, about the office mood and structure? At the end of the day, being a great student worker is more than just about doing great work for an office or organization – it is also about what you make of it, and what the position means to you – make the role a great one, for yourself, and keep challenging yourself and reflecting on what you are looking for.

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