When students take on-campus positions, oftentimes, this is their first exposure to post-academic careers. One major aspect of any career is how the leadership interacts, connects, and encourages professional growth. Here are 5 ways supervisors can optimize the on-campus employment experience for students.
Schedule regular check-ins
Start building the voice of your student worker. Regular check-ins can range from seeing where they are with certain projects and research or can be to casually touch base on how they are doing, how their classes are going, etc. It is important for the student to feel like they can come to their supervisor with issues, wins, and ideas as long as they feel like the door is always open for a conversation.
Developing a central hub that houses all student employment opportunities across campus
At JHU, SMILE is the database that houses all on-campus student employment opportunities. While we also use referrals, job fairs, and social media to share these on-campus roles, the importance of a main channel of all on-campus roles lies with accessibility. Shifting away from word-of-mouth hiring alleviates the unfair advantage well-connected students have over equally qualified peers who may not know such opportunities exist.
You never stop growing as a supervisor
Training is KEY! Supervisors serve as the primary facilitators of professional development and learning opportunities for student employees, and the extent to which supervisors are supported can determine whether an employment experience is menial or meaningful. Therefore, institutions should identify and develop helpful resources and tools to better prepare and engage supervisors for their critical roles.
Keep a Framework in mind for all student employee tasks
Frameworks should define and categorize knowledge and skillsets students should acquire throughout their campus experience. Institutions can use frameworks to help
students establish and articulate progress in meeting learning objectives and how what they are learning on the job connects with other experiences inside and outside the classroom.
Sharing is caring!
Whether it’s in surveys, 1-on-1 chats, scales, how did the student feel in this on-campus role from start to finish? What are some things they wish they learned? What key skills did they learn? All this feedback helps to grow the experiences continually for all students.
Source: NASPA – Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education report, 2019