College students work hard to earn their grades and keep their rooms clean, but 54 percent of the PCC student body also work on-campus jobs through the Work Assistance Program. Student employment opportunities have helped students to graduate debt-free while also providing a chance to learn and master other practical skills.
Ashley Wortman (Jr., AR) has been working in Environmental Services (ES) during semesters, summers, and Interterms. At Campus House, she restocks carts, fulfills maid-sheet responsibilities, and helps with laundry. When working around campus, Ashley restocks and cleans bathrooms and classrooms while the buildings are closed to most other students. “Because I have worked in different ES areas, I was able to work under different supervisors. This has helped me learn to adapt to different supervisors’ requirements,” Ashley said. “There are different areas, different environments, and different supervisors, but everyone has the same goal—to keep the campus looking clean and pristine.”
Luke Collier (Sr., MO) works at Abeka in the Orders department where he helps customers place orders, assists customers via online chats, as well as answers any general questions customers might have about the Abeka program. “Learning to work with people and the public is one of the most important skills I have learned,” he said. “[Working at Abeka] has helped me pay for college. I will be graduating in May debt-free.”
Like Luke, Kristen Pero (’18) worked at Abeka as a student, but in the Solutions department, answering customer phone calls, online chats, and e-mails that dealt specifically with customer enrollments, late fees, extensions, and international enrollments and customer service. “My work experience helped me add to my résumé. I can apply for customer service jobs since I have four years of experience in that area,” she said. “Abeka helped me develop time management and communication—how to manage my time between calls and get ready for the next one. During college, you focus more on learning in class rather than learning at work, but I learned practical skills at Abeka. My classes prepared me academically, and Abeka prepared me professionally.”
Leann Sinclair (Sr., GA) has been working in the Bakery in Dining Services for three years baking cookies, mixing rolls, or baking pizza crusts. “The Bakery crew doesn’t have fun just in the Bakery, but we’re also a family that hangs [out] outside of our job. We love being around each other!” she said. “The work program has pretty much paid my way through college, but it has also taught me responsibility through balancing work, school, sleep, and friendships! It’s tough, but worth it in the end.”
Supervisors enjoy working alongside the student workers in their departments. Bobby Crockett, garden maintenance supervisor for Grounds, said of his crew, “They work hard in order to help us maintain a clean, manicured, healthy, and appealing campus. We have a very large campus and without our student workers there is no way we would be able to keep the grounds looking as good as it does.”
At PCC, work students strive to excel in their studies as well as in their workplace. Even if these students work behind the scenes, their dedication is evident in the quality of their work—a dedication that will follow them to their next job. “You learn a lot of skills that can be applied in any field you work in. Working a job keeps me in check and accountable,” Luke said. “It has helped me better manage my time.”