Maximizing the Student Experience: On-Campus Employment

Azusa Pacific University provides students with the opportunity to learn academic skills in the classroom while gaining knowledge in work contexts. On-campus employment employment offers an encouraging, supportive environment for students to learn how to manage priorities, advocate for themselves, and expand their skill sets.

APU employs students to help run different services provided on campus. Jobs vary by department, including Dining Services, Event Services, Mail Services, teaching assistants, and more. Heather Snyder, director of Auxiliary Services, explained, “We rely on our students to make sure that high-quality services are provided to everybody, every day.” Students play a paramount role in keeping the campus up and running. Their labor benefits the APU community and provides opportunities for growth and development through networking and mentorship.

In addition to financial compensation, an on-campus job allows students to learn practical work skills that can supplement their learning in the classroom. “There are lots of unique jobs students can work on campus that feed into their holistic learning,” said Snyder. Working during college demonstrates initiative in leadership roles and experience outside of the classroom. Michelle McDonald, community advancement programs manager, explained, “It’s a big plus for employers to see that students have real-life experience and application of their learning.”

On-campus jobs provide a distinct advantage to international students since they can work up to 20 hours per week with their F-1 student visa. Katarina Radisic ’22, an international student from Serbia, explained that working in the weight room has allowed her to “Grow as a person and feel more confident for the future.” In addition, JunChen Lu ’23, an international student from Taiwan who works at the Office of Student Employment, described how on-campus employment provided the chance to “Learn how to work in American culture and how to communicate better in English.”

One noteworthy aspect of working on campus is that employers understand being a student comes first. Monica Campos, supervisor for human resources at APU, explained, “Since we are a school, we tend to be more understanding with homework, needing time off for finals and when papers are due.” Student workers are viewed as whole people who are juggling competing responsibilities. McDonald echoed this sentiment and described how partnering programs also understand students' schedules and priorities. “All of our program partners, staff, and faculty recognize that students’ courses come first and flexibility is key,” McDonald said. Although working may be necessary for some students, campus employers encourage students to take care of their mental well-being and hope to ease the burden of managing school, work, and other roles.

Students at APU can qualify for federal work-study as part of their financial aid award package. Students eligible for federal work-study can find jobs on campus and opportunities in the local community. McDonald explained that APU community advancement programs assist in this area, matching students with meaningful employment that benefits the community while contributing to their professional development.

Networking and connecting with staff, faculty, and the community, can provide an advantage to students as they seek employment post-graduation. McDonald said students have the opportunity to engage, make connections, and meet potential future employers through campus jobs. Snyder explained how APU supports students in a variety of ways. “Students’ work environment gives them spiritual support and sometimes mental health support. I have helped many students in my office who are having a hard day, and I think that's the uniqueness of working at APU and God providing those special moments.”

To maximize opportunities as a student worker, Snyder suggested that students find a job that aligns with their future career interests. “College is the time to explore different career paths and skill sets that you've been interested in. You can take a job on campus to see if that's where you want to go,” she said. Students can also make the most of their experience by asking questions and advocating for themselves. “There are opportunities for our students to take initiative and cultivate learning experiences for community impact and growth,” said McDonald.

Finding a Job

If you are unsure where to start, visiting the Career Center in Building 22 is an excellent first step. In addition to visiting the Career Center, the best method of obtaining student jobs is on Handshake, an online job board. All APU student employment jobs are listed on Handshake with details on qualifications, how to apply, and contact information to connect with supervisors. Campos encourages students to be proactive when considering on-campus jobs. “Students don’t have to wait till the end of the school year. They can apply as soon as they start school.”