By Gabriel Rodrigues
Often times, students pursuing post-secondary education are in need of financial support. However, with the Work Study program at Laurentian, students can work on campus and study while “gaining quality experience within any field,” according to the university’s Student Employment Advisor, Todd Gagnon.
“Basically, students who want to be part of Work Study have to show financial need,” said Gagnon. “That’s the prime component of what we do. But, the opportunity is there for any student to achieve valuable assets towards building a resume and career objectives.”
The Work Study program is an initiative provided by the Career and Employment Centre to create jobs on campus for students in financial need. Although, Gagnon said, students don’t have to be on Ontario Student Assistance Program to get a job.
“It isn’t a mandatory requirement but it helps because the government sees that people who are on OSAP are in financial need,” he said. “If you are not on OSAP, then you have to write a two-hundred word letter to our Student Award Financial Aid office saying this is the reasons why you are in need of support.’’
The Work Study program runs between two seasons, during the academic and summer year with all employment opportunities occurring on campus, said Gagnon.
“As a first-year, it is key because it makes students feel more at home,” he said. “For the upper year students, this a chance to gain experience within your field, be it research, administration, finance or whatever aspects you are looking for.”
During the academic year, students are offered up to five to 15 hours of work a week because it allows for students to focus on school, but in the summer, Gagnon said “things are a little different.”
“(Students) work full-time,” he said. This is so students “can start saving up, gain experience, and still have a fun summer.”
Most students will be paid minimum wage, but payment varies from $12.00 to $16.25, depending on the employer and the amount of work they are asking from you, said Gagnon.
Although the Work Study program accepts all students, Gagnon said, jobs aren’t just given.
“The students go through the interview process like any other position,” he said. “If they meet all the requirements necessary, then, a committee looks at these applications and determines what jobs are best for the student.”
Gagnon said the program receives over 500 applications a year, so if a student doesn’t get a job in their field one year, it doesn’t mean they won’t be able to the next year.
“Every year we don`t grant the same departments,” he said. “During the academic year, students are abundant, so we try to get more student based positions or where students need services. Sometimes, students get the job they wanted but if they didn’t, they still get their foot in the door.”
Kyra Larcher, the Work Study Coordinator, believes the faster a student applies for a job, the quicker they can start working.
“Students get to choose for whatever job they apply to,” said Larcher. “It’s all up to the employers’ discretion. ”
The Work Study job positions will begin September 22, but according to Larcher, “there is no specific deadline.”
Larcher, who is also a third-year Communications and Gerontology student at Laurentian, said Work Study offers more than a just job, but “valuable experience and a chance to meet new people.”
Applications for the Work Study program will be sent out to all students through email, but students can also pick up a copy at the Career and Employment Center room L-210 or contact email@example.com.