Thinking Ahead: Employment on Campus

Posted by Megan on March 19, 2014

Journey to the Centre of York

Hi Readers!

If I did my math right, there are only 24 weeks until the Fall semester starts! Part of me wants to scream but the other part of me is super excited and I’m definitely embracing that feeling. It’s going to be my second last school year at York and I can’t wait to make the most of it. Anyways, on to today’s post:

Employment on Campus

Today I’m going to go over some tips and resources for finding a job on campus. There are tons of positions that are perfect for students with the two main factors being that 1) you will generally have super reasonable and flexible hours and 2) you will be making money! Yaaaay money 🙂 The main resource is York’s Career Centre, so make sure to check out the website.

Tip 1 – Know When to Apply

So something huge that I noticed is that most jobs that are posted on York’s Career Centre website are posted at one of two times – at the end of August and also at the beginning of January. You can certainly find postings at any time of the year, but at those two set times there will be significantly more postings to apply to. Other than that I would recommend checking once a day during peak time, and once a week (or every few days depending on your urgency) during the rest of the year.

Tip 2 – Be Prepared

Using the Career Centre website is mostly a smooth process but there are a couple features that can take more time and that mostly comes down to uploading your documents. I recommend uploading your resume, a couple different reference letters, your school schedule, and possibly even a generic cover letter. Do this BEFORE you even start looking for jobs. The uploader can be lengthy because it changes the file types to pdf so you can also reduce upload time by saving your documents as pdf when you make them 🙂

Tip 3 – Evaluate Your Skill-Set

And I don’t just mean your skill set for the job you are applying to. I mean your job finding skill set… it’s not always easy to find a job – particularly if you are shy or anxious or just unfamiliar with the process. Thankfully the Career Centre offers tons of free workshops and consulting which cover topics such as interview practice, resume & cover letter writing, making good impressions, and so on. Once you’ve logged into the Career Centre you can click here to check out all of the events offered.

Tip 4 – It’s Okay to Be Picky

Sometimes it’s good to apply for every job posting, especially when you need the money for tuition and rent. However no matter your situation, it’s also okay to be picky sometimes. I always recommend making certain postings a priority over others (you can even star them or rate them using the Career Centre favouriting system). Look for positions that are suited to your natural capabilities. Look for positions that will give you relevant experience with your degree, which can greatly help with applying to grad school. Hey, you can even look for positions that challenge you out of your comfort zone if that’s what you are looking for! Just don’t settle for less if you don’t need to 🙂

Tip 5 – Be Aware of the Different Position Types

Most students are familiar with work study positions – the 10-15 hour positions that are often super flexible and just MADE for students. However there are tons of other position types, paid and unpaid, all with their own value. Some of the other position types include:

  • Contract – meaning these jobs are for a specific amount of time only, you will not be guaranteed your position after that set amount of time, but you might be able to get your contract renewed.
  • Permanent – meaning as long as you meet your job requirements and ‘fit’ with it, your position is basically indefinite in nature.
  • Summer – these jobs tend to run from April until the end of August, perfect for university students (because most work study jobs end in April)!
  • College Life at York (CLAY) – these are jobs that are offered in York’s college system. This is great for students that really want to get the most out of networking in their college and that have an affinity for their college. Most of these jobs are for September to April although there are some summer positions. You can read more about CLAY positions here.
  • Research at York (RAY) – these positions are specifically for students that are looking to get involved in research which is often an important component necessary for grad school (depending on your program). Because of this, most positions are tailored for upper level students who have taken a statistics and/or research methods type class. You can read more about RAY positions here.
  • York Engaged Students (YES) – the positions are perfect for students who are or want to be really engaged on campus in ways such as peer mentoring or ambassadorship. You can read more about YES here.

There are more position types that are offered, both on campus and off. The rest of these can be found on the Career Centre job postings page 🙂

Now some programs do have an internship component and if you are in one of these programs, you will be referred to a page where you can look at available internships to apply to.

For the rest of us, there don’t tend to be too many internships available. However there are often SO many volunteer positions. And you might not be getting paid but you will certainly be doing a great service and learning from it so don’t discount volunteer positions that might come your way. You can often get amazing reference letters from volunteer coordinators also 🙂

Well that’s all for today, which tip did you find most helpful? Any other comments, questions, or concerns? Shout out below!



Megan is a third-year Psychology student. Follow her on her journey of self-development as she explores and ventures through campus.

See other posts by Megan