Having only ever done bench work in a laboratory, working at Stuart dining hall my freshman year seriously expanded my horizons and taught me valuable skills that extended beyond constructing “Newton Bus Burgers” and working a cash register. Despite my parents’ discouragement and my peers’ sympathy, I can think of far more pros to being a student employee than cons. In addition to getting paid, I present to you five fantastic reasons why you should submit an availability sheet today.
1. Automatic hire: Nothing is worse than spending hours tweaking your resume, filling out applications and never hearing back from a prospective employer. BC dining, on the other hand, will almost certainly hire you immediately. It’s as simple as this: if you want to work at the dining hall, you will get to work at the dining hall. No interviews, no essay questions, no uncertainty.
2. Flexibility: Due to the nifty website that is Schedulefly, you can drop and pick up shifts at your leisure. In this sense, getting a job at the dining hall is not a very serious commitment at all; you can end up working anywhere from 2-20 hours per week. This comes in handy during finals week.
3. Meeting new people: Clubs are great and all, but there is a certain artificiality in the air. When you put on your black T-shirt and go in to work, you are not there to make new friends and get “involved;” you are there to do your job and make money. In that process, however, some great, genuine relationships are often formed. Not only do you bond with other student employees, you will also inevitably become close to the warm and interesting staff.
4. People skills: Working at the dining hall forces you to interact with strangers you would otherwise never talk to. Some of these exchanges are pleasant -- others, not so much. Regardless, you will learn how to be friendly and handle conflict by the end of a long shift. If you are a shy person, you will develop resilience in dealing with people. If you can say, “and what sides do you want with that?” 500 times, “hello” should come pretty easily.
5. Growth: Serving others and observing the behavior of various customers offers a lot of insight into how not to act. If you are a particularly perceptive person, you will find a gold mine in people watching during your shift. Excuse my creepiness, but I was fascinated by how some people manage to be so charming and others so rude. Never again will I check my phone while ordering or leave my trash all over the table.