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The transition to college comes with a whole new set of responsibilities, obligations and expenses. Scholarships and financial aid often do not cover the cost of living a college lifestyle, so many students offset their expenses with an on or off campus job. Working through school gives them the freedom to spend money their own way, whether that entails paying off student loans or attending social events.

“I am a technician on campus and I work for Student Activities as a shift manager,” said Stephanie Martinez, a sophomore at Marist, “I work an average of 40 hours per week to support myself during the school year.”

The Office of Student Activities is the most popular destination for student workers. It organizes and coordinates student events including trips, concerts, transportation, as well as Marist information sessions such as Accepted Students Day and open houses. Technicians like Martinez handle the technology used for meetings, event and movie screenings.

“I get my hours assigned as a shift manager, and they’re usually sporadic,” she said.

The Marist Poll is another popular employers on campus right behind Student Activities. Celebrating its 35th anniversary this year, the poll has students conduct phone interviews and surveys with people across the country in a professional setting, giving them extensive customer service experience.

“All I do is ask questions and interview people. It’s not horrible,” said Kelly Peaks, a sophomore at Marist, “The poll pays minimum wage. It makes ends meet.”

Marist Poll employees work an average of 4-5 hours per week. Shifts run from 5p.m to 11p.m., usually one day per week with the flexibility to do more work during daytime hours. Peak’s paychecks from the Marist Poll go towards her books, school tuition, and weekend activities.

“This is one of the only jobs I could get on campus since I’m not work study, so I went for it,” said Peaks.

Other students who are not registered in the work study program often find jons in the City of Poughkeepsie, or at home during school vacations to save up for the semesters ahead. Martinez, for example, works at the famous tourist attraction Madam Tussaud’s in Manhattan during the summer.

“I enjoy working for Madame Tussauds,” said Martinez, “I work up to 75 hours a week and earn over $540 dollars, as compared to the $9.25 an hour I make at Marist.”

Peaks works retail during her vacations and shared Martinez’s sentiment about the benefits of off-campus employment.

“I worked at Urban Outfitters over the summer and during Christmas break to earn spending money,” said Peaks, “I like my job at Urban Outfitters much more than the Marist Poll because I love the atmosphere.”

Some students double their workload by taking an on-campus job and working off campus in their free time. Taylor Burke is one of these ambitious students.

Burke is a sophomore at Marist who is employed by the School of Management Office at Marist College as well as Crunch Fitness in Poughkeepsie.

“I am an assistant at the School of Management Office which means I take care of basic office tasks such as answering the phones and organizing files. At Crunch Fitness I take care of young children while their parents utilize the gym equipment,” said Burke, “The money I earn from my jobs goes towards paying for my own gas and towards the trips I take with friends during my free time.”

While there is a mixed consensus about the quality of on-campus jobs versus off-campus jobs, Taylor is personally in favor of working on-campus.

“I like my Marist bosses better than my Crunch Fitness bosses. I get paid more at my Marist job than I do at Crunch Fitness even though I put more hours in at Crunch,” she said, “I do not like working off-campus as much because I have to rush from class to work and people do not always cooperate at Crunch,” said Taylor Burke.

Rushing around the City of Poughkeepsie is just one of the tolls that working during school can take on students. Many have to sacrifice the various extracurricular activities that the college experience has to offer.

“I often have to miss out on weekend activities with my friends because of work,” said Burke.

Martinez also doesn’t have much time for activities on weekends. “I work basically every Friday and Saturday,” she said.

And sometimes, the efforts that these students make to offset the cost of college doesn’t pay off.

“I am transferring from Marist after this semester due to the costly price of tuition,” Martinez revealed.

For Martinez and so many other students, the negative aspects of working while in school are too much to take. With the price of college increasing every year, many students feel that their efforts will not be enough to offset the skyrocketing costs. One thing is for sure, these students’ impeccable work ethics will be evident to their future employers, and their hard work will pay off in the end.

Featured photo courtesy of marist.edu

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