Why You Should Try for That University Job

Stumbling through Transitional Math. Stutteringly responding to teachers’ questions. Hesitantly deciding to be an elementary school teacher while trying to declare a major. Clumsily attempting to make new friends. All of this general awkwardness defined my freshman year at Dixie State. When it was over, I felt like I’d made it through some type of strange, Life of Pi-esque tropical island forest and now stood on the beach by myself — more comfortable, but still alone.

My sophomore year began and an unexpected rescue boat arrived. I received an email from the Writing Center (WC) supervisor stating that they were hiring. This, I thought, could be an opportunity to make friends, so I applied. During the interview, the supervisor placed a one-page essay on the desk and asked me to pretend I was tutoring her. It was intimidating, but somehow I got the job.

Working in the WC changed the direction of my college career — and life — in countless ways.

At first, I barely had the confidence to speak up in front of people, let alone give others advice. But slowly, it became easier. As I helped fellow students with their writing assignments, I became a better writer. Describing rules of the English language cemented them in my own mind.

The WC, as it turns out, is a hangout spot for the coolest of nerds. We discuss movies, literature, politics, philosophy, dating, and life in general. We offer each other support. We have parties. I finally made my first group of friends since high school.

After years of searching, I found what I’m confident in and passionate about: writing. I also found the people I’m comfortable around: writers. Needless to say, I switched my major from elementary education to English and haven’t looked back since.

Working on campus, specifically within an academic department — being a tutor, a professor’s aid, a research assistant, an intern, etc. — can give you valuable experience. It can help you explore possible career paths and discover what you enjoy the most. Through experiential learning, an on-campus job prepares you in a unique way.  You will find friends and mentors, a support system, within your field of interest.

Now beginning my final semester, I’ve almost made it through. And my university job has helped me all along the way.

For your chance to get involved on campus, check out the current list of student job openings at Dixie State.

— Ashley Imlay, Senior in English