- Written by a current PHC Freshman, Rebekah Thomas.
Before starting my first semester, I remember contemplating whether it was a “good idea” to work on campus while balancing a 15+ credit load of courses, I think many prospective and current students can agree this is a daunting decision.
So, what's working in college like? And should you try it?
Faced with these common perceptions, two of PHC’s students share their experience to give us a glimpse at their perspective:
Anna Allen is currently a Journalism Major in the class of 2022 and has been working for Admissions in the call center since August 2020. Anna explained that each caller in the call center is assigned a region with a call list of prospective students signed up for notifications. The content of these calls changes to accommodate the seasons of the college, specifically the deadlines for enrollment, upcoming open houses, and more.
The goal of Admissions is to reach out to prospective students and add a personal touch to the experience. Her favorite part of the call center is the work environment itself: the Admissions team knows that “funny things happen over the phone” and she loves “that you can just laugh about those moments together because we all flub up every once in a while.” Anna mentioned having a quote wall to commemorate these memories. More importantly, Anna emphasized how beneficial this position has been to multiple faculties of her life, including her professional, academic, and personal life.
Anna called her work a productive break from school. “It isn’t mindless because you’re still thinking but you get to engage your brain in a different way,” she explained. “I love it because I get to know the ins and outs of the school as well as my peers.”
(Pictured below: Anna Allen)
Lynsy Jerrard is currently an undeclared freshman, working in the mail room since her first semester. Prior to Lynsy’s arrival at PHC, she worked at a small ice-cream parlor in her hometown as a shift manager. Lynsy contrasted this previous work environment with what it is like as an on-campus worker saying, “It’s like night and day. The co-workers back home could care less how you were doing… they just cared if you wasted precious time. But working in the mail room is better. They make sure you’re eating well, sleeping enough, staying hydrated….” While there are many great off-campus working opportunities, it is clear that on-campus employers understand the responsibilities of a full-time college student. Lynsy commented, “I can’t really speak to working off campus in the area, but on-campus is a bit more understanding that you are a student in a rigorous environment. Sometimes, you just need a day off and they get that … they know the environment and culture you are in.”
(Pictured below: Lynsy Jerrard)
Both Lynsy and Anna agree that the on-campus faculty are understanding and accommodating of the taxing responsibilities that come with the life and reality of being a Patrick Henry College student.
As Anna shared, “All of the bosses are alumni, so they understand what it’s like to be completely brain dead sometimes.” Lynsy talked fondly of her boss Mr. Edling (more commonly referred to as Mr. E.) saying, “Mr. E is lovely – I love working with Mr. E walking into work knowing that you’ll be appreciated, despite how you are actually doing. He just has a comforting presence; he generally wants to make sure his workers are doing well in life.”
Lynsy and Anna’s personal stories as campus workers vary. Lynsy chose to work starting her very first semester at college, seeing the benefit of adjusting to working early on. On the other hand, Anna intentionally delayed working until her after her first year of college, making sure she had fully acclimated first.
For the most part, it is still an entirely case by case decision to decide when PHC students should work on campus, yet as Anna and Lynsy would both emphasize the campus positions present numerous benefits for their present and future lives. It provides an opportunity to gain work experience, a source of financial assistance, and an opportunity to contribute to the community here at Patrick Henry College.
So what types of jobs exist for students at Patrick Henry College? Glad you asked! We've got jobs in our IT department, admissions office, in the student kitchen and more. Click below to learn more: