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College is, in many ways, a dramatic change in one’s lifestyle. Young students go from living collectively, often as dependents of an authority figure, with established rules and norms, to a life filled with choices and responsibilities that come with the freedom of one’s freshman year in college.
One of those choices and responsibilities is a job. It’s tough for students to squeeze in a side-hustle given how busy they are with midnight cereal snacking, sleeping until noon, and staying up all night. Somehow, they pull it off.
Campus jobs at Stanford take many forms. Ideally, the positions make accommodations for busy student schedules while stoking students’ interests and passions. For example, students who love art can work as docents at the Stanford Anderson Collection. Gallery attendant positions are also offered for students to sit in gallery spaces and engage with visitors and talk about the process and artists behind the art displayed, many of whom are Stanford students or faculty.
Students who are into science can work at the Stanford Nanofabrication Facility (SNF), which offers a student program, Stanford Undergraduate Monitoring Organization (SUMO). Since the lab is open 24 hours a day, students are able to work at whatever time suits their schedules best, even if this means coming in at 2 a.m. on a Tuesday. For students, this kind of work allows for participation in a larger field of research, and perhaps one that will become increasingly important as students hunt for effective means of creating things on the nano scale.
Literary-minded students also have the opportunity to work in the on-campus libraries. The Bowes Art and Architecture Library is a particular favorite among students, especially since the new McMurtry building offers panoramic views of the campus and stupendous Californian sunsets.
A particularly interesting and popular job on campus is Cardinal Callers, a position that involves reaching out to Stanford alumni. The schedule for student callers is flexible; all they have to commit to is working six hours per week. This “make it work for you” mentality is common in jobs offered at Stanford and it allows work and class time to co-exist in students’ lives.
It’s jobs like these that make Stanford’s work-study program one of the best in the country. Work study allows college students to pursue employment that provides financial security in addition to exploring a new interest or further cultivating a pre-existing one. It may be a stretch to say that all jobs available on Stanford’s campus will further someone’s passions, as many positions also include more generic activities like administrative work, but many of them are win-win situations for students.