WSU Pullman students seeking on-campus jobs for the Fall 2021 semester can learn more about working at three major campus employers at hiring sessions March 2 and 3.
Dining Services, University Recreation, and the Compton Union Building are preparing for more in person services and events and have banded together to hire hundreds of students, which is vital to increasing on-campus experiences for all students this fall.
To meet the anticipated need, dining services is expecting to hire between 350-500 students, UREC will likely hire around 80 students, and the CUB expects to hire about 50.
The hiring sessions are designed to help prospective employees learn more about each employer and the positions available, and all interested students are encouraged to attend. Each employer is hiring for a variety of roles, but all positions will teach students useful, translatable skills and offer opportunities for promotion – as well as lasting friendships with coworkers.
Learning skills and gaining friends
For junior human development major Angel Padilla, Hillside Café hasn’t just been a place to gain work experience and make money – it’s become a home away from home.
“A place like Hillside, it becomes a second home to you, and the people you work with become like family,” he said. “For people who come to WSU and it’s their first time away from home and they’re thinking about their family, coming to a place like this makes it easier to establish new connections.”
As a student manager, Padilla helps forge those connections among the students he supervises on his shifts, in addition to enforcing policies, ensuring customers have a good experience, and generally making sure the café runs smoothly. The responsibilities of his job have taught Padilla invaluable skills he said will “definitely benefit me in the long run.”
Senior advertising major Sophie Jones has also benefitted from the lessons she’s learned and skills she’s gained as a membership attendant at the Student Recreation Center. She said the teamwork, confidence, and people skills required for her role have taught her to adapt to change – and will help her land a good job when she graduates this May.
“It’s a great first job,” Jones said. “I’ve gotten tons of skills from working here, from leadership to customer service. The ability to have a real boss and have responsibility while you’re in college is awesome on a resume. I feel super prepared to enter the workforce.”
Senior broadcast journalism major Cameron Limes, who has worked for UREC for four years, said he is also learning key skills that will serve him well after graduation. As a facility manager, he has gained interpersonal and conflict resolution skills, as well as patience and professionalism. Perhaps the most valuable thing he has learned, though, is a leadership mindset.
“There’s a certain amount of humility you have to have to get down and scrub a weight,” he said. “But that mindset of, ‘Even though I’m a manager here I’m still going to treat everybody like they’re an equal’ – that’s something that will stay with me wherever I go.”
‘We couldn’t do it without them’
For full-time staff who manage student workers, the returns on the investments in employee growth are high. Students who work for dining, UREC, and the CUB typically keep their jobs until they graduate, creating a reliable and experienced workforce and a strong sense of community in each workplace.
“We’re a family,” said Stephanie Alvarado, the associate manager of the Hillside Café and Market. “This is a safe, nurturing place to learn how to be a productive part of the workforce.”
Alvarado offers a rigorous 11-week leadership training program for student managers like Padilla, but students who don’t become managers benefit from the comprehensive training, mentorship, and paid sick leave Dining Services offers all its student employees.
Working at the CUB offers students different, but no less valuable, benefits. Spencer Desmarais, assistant director of event services and operations for the CUB, said students are given a great deal of autonomy and responsibility, often independently opening and closing the building, setting up and managing events, and running complex AV services.
“It’s a very unique opportunity on campus,” he said. “Positions at the CUB offer a lot of things they can take with them after college.”
UREC also offers its student employees a good deal of autonomy and training, and Membership Coordinator David Grassi said interacting with the public on a daily basis, as Jones and Limes do, teaches student employees to independently manage customer needs and interpersonal conflicts.
“Students really enjoy gaining customer service skills, leadership skills, conflict management skills – all those soft skills,” he said.
Although they’re hiring for different types of roles, Alvarado, Desmarais, and Grassi all said student workers are essential to their operations, and hiring enough students will be crucial to creating successful in-person experiences in the fall 2021 semester.
“We couldn’t do it without them – they’re an integral part of what we do,” Alvarado said.
Students can learn more about the March 2-3 hiring sessions and see a list of available positions on Coug Presence, the student engagement website launched in January. Sessions run from 4-6:30 p.m.
Students interested in positions with UREC and the CUB can apply before March 7 via Handshake; Dining Services is accepting applications on a rolling basis through a Qualtrics survey on their website.