Student employment options through UM resources

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Balancing a job and a course load can be a battle for many college students, but resources at the University of Miami make finding a flexible job simple. Students can search through listings for open positions on and off campus through CaneLink, their student portal.

Once a student logs in, at the bottom of the CaneLink homepage there is a “Student Employment” section with two different links to help students find employment on campus. One form of employment is for students who qualify for Federal Work-Study and another is the Student Assistant Program, for those who do not.

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Federal Work-Study (FWS) is a need-based program. According to Grisel Valdes, director of Student Employment, students who complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on time and are determined eligible based on the federal guidelines receive an invitation to participate and a maximum amount they can earn in the program.

Departments have the responsibility to offer a number of FWS positions to ensure students with financial need have the opportunity to work, thus there are more positions available than through the student assistant program.

Jorge Banegas, a sophomore studying computer science, works as a Help Desk Technician at the School of Business Service Desk – a position he got through FWS. Although it took several months for him to finally receive a notice for an interview, he is now able to work for financial aid for his education as well as experience with computer systems.

“Apply early. It is never too early to start applying for jobs on campus,” Banegas said. “The reason it took so long for me was because I started looking once the semester had already started.”

Valdes said the beginning of the semester is a busy time for employers, and students should not be discouraged by having to apply to several positions.

“At the beginning of the academic year, there are lots of students looking for jobs. Don’t despair if you find yourself contacting employers and the job has been filled,” Valdes said.

For students who don’t qualify for FWS, they can use the Student Assistant program (SA), a university program open to all enrolled, degree-seeking students. Since for the SA program the employer is responsible for the student’s salary, there are fewer positions.

The Student Assistant program also offers off-campus opportunities. Businesses outside the university looking to hire part-time employees can post their positions on various outlets and UM communications. It was through this program that junior Luis Gonzalez, an accounting major, was able to find a job as an accounting associate outside UM.

“I just saw the post on CaneLink and gave them a call. The job has good pay and is very flexible with my classes, which is surprising for an off-campus job,” Gonzalez said.

Valdes said students seeking employment should take time to create a professional resume and be able to discuss their qualifications for a given position.

“When you call to inquire about a posted position, be prepared to discuss your skills, your experiences and your commitment and enthusiasm to be a responsible, reliable student employee,” Valdes said.

According to Valdes, about 2,500-3,000 undergraduate students are working on campus at any given time during the semester.

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2 Comments

  1. Since I am a sophomore student right now. I am looking a part-time job for my college life because I know how it is important to my future career. When you graduated, you are facing to find a job and the company would like to use someone has the work experiences. I really thanks for the Student Assistant program offers these opportunities. It helps a lot.

  2. Thanks for preparing this article and publishing the importance of working professionally while in school.

    I graduated from UM in 2003 with a BAIS from the School of International Studies – I worked my entire 4 years at UM under the Miami Commitment Program (what is now Student Assistance Program I believe) in the Academic Development Center (what is now the Academic Resource Center) for about 20 hours per week.

    When I went to search for a permanent job upon graduating, I can’t tell you how crucial it was for employers during the interviewing cycle to see that I worked all during my undergrad. My work experience coupled with my degree made me waaaayyy more attractive to potential employers than those folks who had not worked much during school – and on campus work experience even helped me secure my position in the US Peace Corps in Uzbekistan right after graduating! We are truly lucky that UM provides such a great professional service through FWS or the Student Assistance Program, as many schools are not so generous in helping full-time students locate a job.

    Anyways, just my two cents as an old Alumni, ha! Good luck to everyone studying now in undergrad at UM. GO CANES!