St. Thomas University is offering a new on campus employment program called STUworks.
The program is designed for first and second year students who meet at least one of the following criteria, the student must be: first (or first generation) in family to go to college or university from a low socio-economic background, a First Nations student, or a student with a disability.
“It’s going to be an opportunity for first and second year students to get their foot in the door and get some skills under their belt,” said Trish Murray-Zelmer, STU’s employment and financial aid coordinator.
Students that apply to STUworks will be screened by Murray-Zelmer to ensure they meet the criteria. Once a student is accepted into the program they are required to attend a resume and cover letter workshop. Then they are able to apply for the STUworks job’s of their choice.
Similar to the the existing J.O.B.S. program at STU, there will be jobs posted on the STU student employment webpage that only students in the STUworks program may apply to. The student may apply for whichever jobs they wish and then they may be selected for the interview process.
If the student goes through the interview process and is hired, they will be paid for 10 hours of work weekly for 18 weeks, the entire academic year. Nine of these hours will be working with their on campus employer and one hour a week will be a group training session with other students in the program.
Murray-Zelmer said the training sessions are important to students.
“Since the program is focused on first and second year students, we help them with the transition to university, what they want to do after they leave here, and some struggles they may have along the way,” said Murray-Zelmer. “It’s essentially a group session of an hour a week that’s paid. This is part of the STUworks package that a student in the program would get.”
Murray-Zelmer asked for the funding for this program from the government because first and second year students do not often have a lot of work experience or skills. She also recognizes how many of the on-campus jobs tend to go to upper year students, so it can be very difficult for younger students to gain this type of necessary work experience.
Murray-Zelmer also spoke about the importance of gaining work experience in university. She explained that when a student is applying for employment after they graduate from STU’s or when applying to a graduate school, the work experience portion of an applicant’s resume is crucial.
“All employers and grad schools want to see that you’ve done something meaningful work wise or volunteer wise.”
The STUworks program will offer a variety of research and non-research jobs. Trish Murray-Zelmer said that when selecting which jobs will be a part of this program, the selection committee is looking to include work that will give students the best opportunities and will allow them to gain skills and provide a diverse work experience. Murray-Zelmer also commented on the financial need for students to work during university.
“We realize the costs of post-secondary education are going up so when we can find ways to help students financially, I think that’s really important,” said Murray-Zelmer.
Show Comments (0)