My First Job as a Student Aide

My First Job as a Student Aide

Upon my arrival at Niagara University, I felt the need to establish myself in the university community. Among many things, I knew a work study position would aid in this endeavor and help me earn a bit of money at the same time.

One small detail: I had never had a job. I had never been interviewed, and I had never gotten paid to do anything other than turn another year older, so other than the common sense that I would need a job to soften the blow of college expenses, nothing was convincing me that I should pursue a job. Regardless, on an early September morning, I dressed like an adult, ate a good breakfast, and went boldly to the work study office in hopes of landing a position.

I was comforted by the kindness of the staff there and the intuition of the interviewer who, while probably ignoring my awkward and possibly desperate first interview, saw that I was a generally good and friendly person who could take on something important (but small) as a first job.

She asked where I was interested in working. I quickly responded that I was interested in the positions in the Library at the Circulation Desk and in the Leary Theatre at the Box Office. They had filled all positions for one and just hired for the other. Now I worried. I was at the fate of whatever was left. Hopefully, I thought, something good was still available.

“I notice that your major is education,” the interviewer said. “What about a job in the College of Education?”

Suddenly, I was very excited to do a job I didn’t even have yet. A job in the College of Education. How hadn’t I thought of that before?

With a newfound confidence in myself, having interviewed before (you know, once), I made my way to the Academic Complex for a second interview to seal the deal.

There I met the lovely Beverley Eiler, administrative coordinator, and we had a short conversation about my work experience (basically nothing) and my availability (basically everything). Before I knew it, I had a job. You can imagine my excitement. My first job! And in an office, no less! I would begin the next day in this brave new working world and I was excited to see what the adventure would bring.

Today, I am still on this adventure and I have found it to be a meaningful part of my routine. At this moment, I sit at a small desk in a little corner of the Dean’s Office, stationed in front of an old computer. It is a quiet Friday afternoon. Somehow, though, it feels comfortable. Everyone in the office is friendly and my colleagues (the other student aides) are encouraging.

At times it seems like the work I do is tedious, but as soon as I have this thought, it is trumped by a sincere thank you from anyone around, or a compliment on how I’m picking it up so quickly, or simply a “hello” from any passerby. It is these small things that assure me that I made the right choice at the beginning of this semester and will be happy for semesters to come.