Originally published on April 10, 2012 on Beyond the Elms: Scripps College Career Planning & Resources Blog.
In honor of Student Employee Appreciation week at Scripps, I’m going to take a moment to reflect on the work I’ve done as a student over the past year. Neither of my jobs are the traditional type found on campus. I don’t have set hours; I work on my own time. It follows that I’m not paid hourly, I’m paid by article, or simply paid in the gratification of getting published and hoping my words will reach someone else. I’m making a mark on campus, even if my work doesn’t always make a significant mark in my bank account.
This past year I’ve worked as a Staff Writer for The Student Life newspaper, mainly for Life & Style but I’ve also been working for Special Features this semester. As is implied by the name of the paper, my bosses are my peers: my editor is also my partner on Scripps A-Team.
I’ve had previous experience working on publications, in situations with real bosses, in similar peer-led newspapers, and in taking the role of leadership myself. Yet my experience at The Student Life has been community based in an authentic way, with no advisor looming over our shoulder. Late nights (the few I’ve gone to as a writer) are filled with jokes and innuendo and snacks, with a break to watch the Wednesday night Pomona snack A Capella concert.
At The Student Life, no one puts on airs of superiority. My opinion is valued and my suggestions are listened to. I have learned to express myself better, not just in my writing, but also with my coworkers. I’ve learned that even by bosses are still my co-workers, because we are all working towards the same goal. I’ve become more confident and this confidence has already helped me in interviews for jobs for next summer and next year.
Blogging for CP&R has also improved my self-motivation. As a volunteer position with little interaction with my superiors, my writing is something that I make myself do each week. And, excepting one particularly essay-filled week, I’ve succeeded.
I’m not a traditional Student Employee, but I still appreciate the opportunities I’ve had through my work here on campus, and I can’t wait to see what opportunities next year brings!