What Campus Job is Right For You?


Whether it is being known as the first year who serves hashbrowns or the snarky info desker, campus jobs are real and you should know about them. Mac weekly writer Sam Baker interviewed campus employees on a variety of Macalester jobs, giving us Mac Students insight into what campus job is the right job. Use the questions below to find the right job for you. Are you are good with a camera? Do you like attending events and have a large hard drive? Student photographer for Communications Emma Pulido ’14 spends four hours a week in the Communications office filing, making contact sheets, delivering photos and making copies of photos for students. The rest of her work hours are made up taking pictures around campus of events ranging from the Hmong New Year Dinner to the Student Athlete Alumni Job Night to the French Study Abroad Session. “The best part [of my job] is being able to attend all these events that I either would tell myself that I didn’t have time to go to otherwise or I just wouldn’t think of going to,” Pulido said. While she is required to photograph certain events, she mainly gets to choose from a list of campus happenings each week. “It’s definitely helped me in that I am less afraid to just show up somewhere and take pictures,” she said, describing herself as the “creepy one in the corner” at events. As opposed to her old job as a lifeguard, Pulido likes working with photography, as it is something she wishes to pursue professionally in her future. Generating 500 images a week may be good for her photographic skills, but it has taken a toll on her computer, which is now full and has to be routinely cleared of photos. “I think [my job is] a good blend of on-the-ground and office work,” Pulido said. Are you are talkative, positive and interested in fundraising? The Community Organizer Sean Ryan ’13 has held various jobs at Macalester, from a food service specialist in Café Mac his freshman year to an office assistant for the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies department his sophomore year, but being a Youth and Tutoring Issue-Based Organizer and Community Based Organizer for the Civic Engagement Center this year is his favorite so far. He specifically focuses on organizing community and after-school programs for youth, which is relevant to his previous experience working with kids and tutoring full-time last summer. “It was a perfect fit, and I already had relationships with site coordinators, so I was able to move into the job pretty easily…To constantly be representing Macalester is a big responsibility,” said Ryan, who prefers to have a job where he has things to do, as opposed to just sitting at a desk. One event in particular that Ryan enjoyed organizing was Read Across America for Linwood Elementary School, where college students and adults read to the students. “That was just so much fun to read with kids and see how excited they are to meet college students… It’s a different kind of reward than anything that you get at Macalester.” All CEC workers are required to have a direct service component related to their area of organizing. Ryan found this easy to do, as he was already volunteering at Project for Pride and Living (PPL) before he began his job in the CEC. He likes this component of the job. “I don’t want to just be a bureaucratic manager who doesn’t actually do what I’m trying to get other people to do,” he said. Are you are cheerful and open to helping people with directions and handling details? Information Desk Sabrina Baumgartner ’13 is a student supervisor at the Information Desk, which involves helping with scheduling of student workers, keeping inventory of the office supplies, dealing with lost and found items, working regular shifts at the Reservations Desk and filling in when needed at the Information Desk. Baumgartner has worked at the Information Desk since her freshman year and became a supervisor this year when her boss offered her the job. She enjoys being in the Campus Center because she likes to help people with their questions and because she likes working in a place that is constantly busy. “You usually see a lot of people when they’re coming into Café Mac or going to SPO, and they’ll stop by and say hi,” Baumgartner said. Aside from the location, Baumgartner likes that the job is not too difficult and that it will help her in the future with things like leading weekly meetings and knowledge of various computer programs. Her only complaint is digging through lost and found, which can occasionally include used towels from the Leonard Center. Are you are cheerful and open to helping people with directions and handling details? Safewalker Sophomore Heidi Anderson is a shift leader for Safewalk, a job she received as a freshman, she said, apparently because her boss liked her name. The job officially consists of setting up the Safewalk table each night, putting out candy for students, walking rounds every half hour (always with a fellow Safewalker) and escorting students who call into Safewalk. With 96 walks last semester and 29 so far this semester, Safewalkers have a few regular customers and a lot of free time. Anderson enjoys being paid to study, as she hosts study groups during her shift. Last year, she even got paid for going bowling with all the other Safewalkers. Next year Anderson will be working for Dispatch in the Campus Center, listening to the campus security radio and taking calls, which is a welcome change as she said Safewalk is “a little past my bedtime sometimes,” with shifts lasting from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Do you have academic expertise, confidence in helping students and enjoy grading? Teaching assistant/lab assistant After taking Geographic Information Systems (GIS) his freshman year, Matt Hyde ’13 began working for the Geography department as a lab assistant and teaching assistant (first for Geography of Africa and then for GIS). Initially the department was looking for lab managers, and “then they asked me to be a TA because nobody else wanted to wake up at 8:30 in the morning,” Hyde said. Though he does not like the early mornings, he finds the worst part of the job to be grading because it entails looking for small details in multiple copies of the same map. While the maps he grades may be rough at the beginning of the semester, “it gets better as the semester goes on,” he said. As Hyde is interested in working with GIS after he leaves Macalester, he finds working in the lab and with the instructors to be helpful to his understanding of the subject. “I think working in the GIS lab is pretty ideal, actually,” he said, explaining that the job is a good mix of time for other work and helping students. Do you enjoy manual labor, a noble cause and have an interest in sustainability on campus? Recycler for Facilities Though it may not be glamorous or relevant to his future career goals, Patrick Snyder ’13 said his job as a Recycling Supervisor for Facilities is “a positive thing to do.” He has held the job since freshman year and was promoted to supervisor sophomore year. “The most rewarding thing is knowing that the work student recyclers makes it easier for the custodial staff that work around the clock and are already pretty constrained with the time they have,” he said. Though the job may have its downsides, like taking non-recyclable items like food out of the the recycling, Snyder acknowledged that someone has to do it and “fortunately we have plastic gloves.” Snyder will be a preceptor for the Hispanic Studies department next year, which he called “a step in a more relevant direction.” However, after three years working as a recycler for Facilities, he has one last wish to fulfill before switching jobs. Like his friend who works for Facilities on the Grounds Crew, he would like to be able to use the campus golf carts. “I work in Facilities too; why don’t I get to drive a golf cart around?”