Students face difficulty finding work

By Sam Tanner
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At California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB), any student looking for a chance at a new job is pointed to the website Otter Jobs. The site provides jobs based on a student’s interest and focus, as well as availability. Depending on a student’s financial situation or their academic standing, some may be more eager or even desperate to find a job, and a comprehensive resource like Otter Jobs is appreciated.

However, for some students, employment at CSUMB itself is not particularly clear-cut. Opportunities are not always consistent, depending largely on what students know of the system and when they apply for a job. The window of opportunity is most open in the first weeks of the semester, or at the very end if one is applying for the next semester.

Unfamiliar with the Otter Jobs system of employment, Clarence Gabriel Parker was unable to procure a job for himself during his first semester at CSUMB. However, Parker managed to find greater success the following March. Having learned from last time around, Parker expanded his search and gained a job at the local Target store in Marina. Since then, Parker attests that one must keep one’s search for a job broad and be as proactive as possible.

Another lucky student is Sebastian Mireles, who first came to CSUMB in the Fall of 2017. Having applied early enough for a job as a campus tour guide, Mireles was hired without any difficulty. The year after, he applied for a different job in the spring, toward the end of the semester. Once again, his proactiveness paid off and he worked as a CLC tutor. Mireles says that having applied well ahead of time was key to his success.

Julianna Navarini’s story is markedly different than the other students listed here, as she decided to focus on her academic studies and skip job-searching altogether. She said that she has already planned to find a position in the fall.

Navarini is one of perhaps many students who already have the means and resources to go a semester without the need for a job. Not all students have that luxury, however, being in greater need of money to pay for housing or other expenditures. For Parker and Mireles, the chance to earn and save up money could not come soon enough.

When asked what could be done to help make employment easier for students at CSUMB, several ideas were shared. One student suggested that information about Otter Jobs simply be made more available when first transferring to CSUMB. Another idea was to extend the hiring period further into the semester. In any case, Mireles noted, the issue was nothing that could not be solved.

In many cases employment on campus is merely an option, something that can be put on hold. But for others, the need is far greater. Otter Jobs continues to supply that need, even as some stress over the narrow window of opportunity given to them.

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