Looking for financial aid and work experience but you’re not sure about opportunities that fit your schedule as a student? Great news; there may be a work-study position for you! Work-study jobs are part-time paid campus jobs exclusively for students. They are offered as a form of financial aid to encourage students to have schedule flexibility and find balance between school commitments and work obligations.
Before applying to any work-study job, you must first check whether you’re eligible for it or not. The simplest way to do this is to log in to your CalCentral account, click on the “My Finances” tab, and check the “My Awards” section. If work-study awards are offered to you, you should see the option to accept your work-study aid on the right-hand side of the screen.
Looking for a Job
Once you verify that you qualify for work-study, the next step is to actually look through job listings on the Work-Study website. Once you enter the student portal, you should see a link for job listings on the left-hand side. Upon clicking on job listings, your screen should look like the picture below:
Finding the right fit is the last and, arguably most important, step for finding a work-study position that meets your needs. The “Job Category” filter allows you to look for field-specific jobs, offering you the chance to gain experience in the kind of work you’d like to do in the future. Some of the categories to choose from include the following: Accounting and Finance, Communications – Media, Education, etc. The “Rate” filter allows you to filter by hourly pay rate. The “Location” filter allows you to filter by location. Use these filters to find the role that works best for you!
Once you find a job that is right for you, follow the application steps on the listing. You’ll notice jobs within all kinds of academic departments and student services roles. For instance, the Library has lots of student worker opportunities every year as well as departments with roles and locations across campus like Cal Dining and Residential Life.
When to Apply
Work-study awards are announced prior to each school year, making summer the perfect time to look for work-study positions. Sometimes you may receive emails from professors or see social media posts that invite you to apply to some of these positions, but the most reliable method of verifying what opportunities exist is by browsing the student portal. Within the portal, applicants can see when a listing was posted and the job’s start date. Try your best to apply earlier rather than later for positions that appeal to you! Plus, if you’re interested in a few of the positions that you find, don’t worry. You can apply to and even hold multiple work-study jobs at once!
Most work-study jobs will require you to send a resume and undergo an interviewing process. Don’t be nervous about this; Berkeley Career Engagement has plenty of resources for you to hit this part of the hiring process out of the park. Whatever your hangups may be, don’t worry! Work-study is designed to help you: bosses are extremely understanding and are usually flexible for students.
Great! You Got a Job Offer!
First, you and your new supervisor will need to take a few steps to ensure your job is connected to your work-study award. They will need to offer you the job on the work study portal, and then you will need to go in and accept it.
Once this happens, simply follow the instructions that your supervisor gives you. Some of the other preliminary details that your supervisor may ask you for before you start working include submitting documents that verify your identity, choosing whether you prefer to receive payment via check or direct deposit, and establishing your work schedule. The influx of new hires may cause logistics to take some time, so be patient. These are the very last steps before you can finally start the real work!
Lucas Yen is a senior at UC Berkeley majoring in Political Economy.