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Campus Jobs (I've Had a Lot of Them)

January 10, 2018 at 1:00 pm
By Lynn Barbera '19

I would say that most students at Carleton have a campus job--for some, like me, it’s an important part of your financial aid package, which is:

  1. Good, because fewer student loans
  2. Sad, because you don’t get a paycheck

The summer before your first year, if you’re opting for student work, you fill out a little form with your preferences and skills, and then a bit later, *poof* Carleton gives you a job. I was really into Tech Theatre in high school (little known fact), so I was able to get a job in the scene shop at Carleton.

Job 1: Scene Shop Worker
I only worked in the scene shop for a few weeks, but here’s what I remember: The hours were pretty flexible, and you usually got to break for lunch/dinner, so that was cool. As a newbie, I mostly learned what to do from upperclassmen who were all very friendly--at first, I think you start out with more general work, like cutting wood/folding drapes/screwing screws, but if you stick with it, you can get into more specialized work like lighting and sound. I wouldn’t know--I didn’t stick with it because:

  1. The scene shop is in The Weitz, which was the furthest building from my dorm (probably only a ~15 minute walk, but in the scale of Carleton walks, that is far!)
  2. I wanted to explore new possibilities in the world of college!!

I know a lot of people who work in the shop, though (also in the costume shop), and they seem to really like it!

Job 2: Student Caller
I soon found a new job with the Alumni Annual Fund, which is where all of the money for things like financial aid comes from. As a student caller, it was my job to call up alumni and ask them for the green to support my (and others’) ability to afford Carleton! This was actually a really cool job, because you work in the second story of a house across the street from campus, there’s dim lighting and snacks, and in between calls you get to chat with your coworkers about the stuff you accidentally said while on the phone with alumni. For example, one alum told me that he was in Dental School, and something possessed me to say “wow, maybe I’ll get my teeth cleaned sometime!” Since you’re trying to make the max amount of calls you can every shift, there’s a system that dials up alumni for you, and it pulls up a page with information about them--their major, where they live, etc.--and I really liked getting to people with similar interests and hearing about their lives after Carleton! I finished out the term, and then found a new job because:

  1. Sometimes I got really anxious making so many phone calls every night. I can barely schedule an appointment with my dentist!
  2. The shifts were pretty rigid, because you wanted to call at the prime after-dinner time, and that didn’t work with my Winter Term schedule!

Job 3 (and present job): Dacie Moses House Generalist
If you haven’t heard about Dacie Moses (aka The Cookie House), hold the phone. Read here about how Carleton students have 24/7 access to delicious sweets. I happen to have 25/7 access because I work at Dacie’s, which means that I bake to fill my timecard! Dacie Moses has a weekly Sunday brunch open to all students, so I bake whatever I want for that, which sometimes leads to failed experiments with butternut squash, and then I also clean/maintain the house for the use of students and guests! Truly a great job.

Job 4: (Right here, baby) Admissions Blog Writer
That’s right, if you’re all about these blog posts by students, you could be writing them one day! I only work a few hours a week, but I get to write whatever I care about or think would be helpful to prospective students--and share pictures, so I don’t feel bad about the depleting storage on my phone. There are a few other writing jobs you can get as a student, like writing press releases, or about the cool things other students are doing--and you can also take photos and record videos for prospective students to see.

I don’t think that most students jump around playing the employment game like I have been doing, but it’s definitely possible to find work that fits your interests, especially if you’re interested in serving food at the dining hall!  


Lynn is a Cinema and Media Studies/Women's and Gender Studies double major. She's from the desert! You can catch her telling jokes with the standup group Queens of Comedy and the improv group Cujokra, or trying to ride her bike without using her hands. She's really into writing for infemous (Carleton's feminist zine), working at Dacie Moses (the cookie house), and eating (food). One time she applied for a job at Cakewalk and didn't get it.

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