The Student News Site of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student News Site of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student News Site of DePaul University

The DePaulia

Working hard or hardly working: the best college jobs


Being a student means a constantly changing and usually pretty crowded schedule. 

Between classes and homework, it is hard to find time to just relax, much less get a good job to pay for a night out with some friends.  It can be challenging to find a job with the right amount of flexibility or that does not pile on unnecessary stress.

It can seem daunting at first to try and leap into the sea of the employed, but after a few deep breaths, the waters are not as frenzied as they may seem.

One of the best places to begin looking is on-campus jobs.  Junior Joe Laurendi has been working at the Ray Meyer Fitness Center since last spring.

“I am an entrance attendant, that is the people who are at the desk when you first walk in who scan your card and give you your keys and fold towels.  It’s not a very tough position by any means,” Laurendi said.

Easy jobs can often turn monotonous, but Laurendi said he enjoys his work.

“I really, really enjoy working there because for one, they create a really fun environment that people want to be a part of. I know it sounds stupid, but we call it a family,” Laurendi said. “And two, I run into a lot of people I would never really see by working at the gym.  Everybody is in and out of there on a daily basis and I see a lot of friends and make plans there for that night.”

Another benefit of an on-campus job is the flexibility that comes with working somewhere that knows you have classes.

“I’m only scheduled for six hours a week. There is like 50 of us who are entrance attendants so that makes up the seven-day work week, each about three hours a day,” Laurendi said.  “We have a whole Facebook group where people put up their shifts so you can pick up more hours. Nine times out of 10 if you need a shift covered, somebody will take it for you. It’s flexible.”

There are plenty of off-campus employers who can offer a similar flexibility and environment as well. 

One of the more popular student jobs is a barista.  Senior Doug Klain worked at Starbucks for eight months before leaving recently to work at Radio DePaul.  One of the bonuses for him was he could work over the summer and keep it going through the school year.

“I started working at Starbucks last summer,” Klain said.  “My family is from Virginia and so I was back there for the summer and I got a job at Starbucks specifically because I thought ‘OK, it’s something I can start in the summer, right now’ and they had a program so it would be super easy for me to transfer from working at a Starbucks in Virginia to working at a Starbucks here in Chicago.  So, I could keep it going throughout the year.”

Despite not being directly related to the university, Klain said one of the best parts of the job was its flexibility around his student schedule.

“I was kind of juggling the Starbucks job and the radio station jobs and it got kind of hectic(…)but one of the best things I had there (Starbucks) was how flexible the work was,” Klain said.  “They said ‘okay, if you want to work at Starbucks you basically just have to work a minimum of 12 hours on average every week, so I was able to do super flexible stuff.”’

Another job, though maybe not as common, is bartending.  Senior Emily Remsen got there by starting from the bottom.

“I’ve worked in the service industry since I was 16.  That was my first job back in California, where I grew up.  I was a hostess for minimum wage and then different restaurant jobs and then I turned 21, I left to do some traveling,” Remsen said.  “When I got back it was August of this year and I started applying for bartending positions.  They hired me as a server so as soon as I got hired I was like ‘can you teach me how to pour beer?’ and I just kept asking until they were like ‘okay, she’s basically a bartender.’”

Bartending can seem like a job that might get someone into sticky situations, but Remsen said it’s location, location, location.

“I chose a bar that is much more relaxed.  It’s not actually a bar I see very many DePaul kids at because it is known to be a little older, a little calmer, more of a neighborhood pub(…)we play ’70s music, it is pretty mild, so I don’t have to shout at anyone,” said Remsen.

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