Seven Reasons You Should Work as a Student Assistant at CSUF

For Daniel Coats ’15,’18, student assistant roles have been pivotal in developing his career skills. “I have been able to utilize my writing, research and administrative abilities, gaining years of work experience in my field before graduation,” he says. Photo by Chris McCarthy

For Daniel Coats ’15, ’18, student assistant roles have been pivotal in developing his career skills. “I have been able to utilize my writing, research and administrative abilities, gaining years of work experience in my field before graduation,” he says. Photo by Chris McCarthy

From communications and graphic design to tutoring and student advising, there are hundreds of student assistant positions at the Cal State Fullerton campus. Mihaylo College blog writer and editorial assistant Daniel Coats ’15, ’18, who is graduating this semester with an M.A. in communications, looks at seven reasons you should apply for student jobs at CSUF.

How would you like to have a job that is convenient to your classes, helps you expand your skill set, builds your portfolio, counts as a required internship, provides financial support and helps you build a valuable career network?

This has been my experience over the past four years, thanks to student assistant employment, particularly the student business reporter role that I have held at Mihaylo College since June 2014.

In this role, I have authored more than 370 blog posts, contributed to four editions of the college’s alumni magazine, conducted donor research utilized by senior college leadership and performed various other administrative tasks as directed by the marketing team.

While every student assistant job is different, all offer Titans the opportunity to build their varying skill sets and develop work experience in an environment conducive to their success as students.

Here are seven reasons I encourage you to apply for student assistant roles:

  1. You get to discover whether a career path is right for you.

Think you want to work in an IT department? Interested in marketing but lack experience in the field? A student assistant role lets you experience firsthand what these jobs are like while still in school. Should you have any questions about related career paths, you can always talk to your supervisors, who are usually more than willing to share insights with the students they supervise. When you graduate, having months or years of work experience in your desired field may help you secure coveted internships or entry-level jobs.

  1. Your schedule is flexible.

Student assistants are limited to working 20 hours per week during the semesters, so there is no clash between balancing your roles as employee and student. As you will be working on campus in an educational environment, any department or entity that hires you will see you as a student first and will do what they can to arrange your work schedule around your academic life.

  1. The location is convenient.

By working on campus, you will be within walking distance of your classes, club meetings and campus events. This makes it likely that you can park once and spend a full day at Cal State Fullerton, while getting the most out of your time here.

  1. Your job may count as an internship.

A number of degree programs, such as my public relations undergraduate program, require an internship, and most others strongly suggest such an experience to supplement classroom instruction. As long as a student assistant job is related to your field of study, it is likely to satisfy the requirements of an internship, thus enabling you to simultaneously gain experience, fulfill academic requirements and get a paycheck.

  1. You meet professionals and build valuable connections.

With more than 40,000 students and 3,000 faculty and staff, your networking opportunities are limitless. Student assistant employment makes it easy to get in touch with professors, administrators, fellow students, alumni and members of the university’s vast network in the Southern California community. This may pay dividends when searching for a career after graduation or cultivating professional connections to start your own business. Most of the people you meet are caring, supportive and encouraging people who will support your success. Plus, working with other Titans is a huge plus!

  1. You gain experiences that will last you a lifetime.

Whether you help other students succeed in their academics or careers, assist the college or university in conducting world-class events, provide practical support for professors as they seek to educate the next generation of leaders and visionaries, or further Cal State Fullerton’s mission to provide affordable and accessible education to the diversity of the Southern California community, you will have experiences that will be far above anything you ever imagined you could attain to as a student. This will help you to become a better-rounded individual and increase your understanding of our diverse and interconnected world.

You never know what will greet you when you head to work as a student assistant. Thankfully, the exercise you will get walking across campus will help you burn any unwanted calories.

You never know what will greet you when you head to work as a student assistant. Thankfully, the exercise you will get walking across campus will help you burn any unwanted calories.

  1. Free Food!

There’s no guarantee, but free food can be one of the perks of being on the Cal State Fullerton payroll. In all three of the student assistant roles that I have held, there have been numerous times in which I’ve been given free lunch. Many of the events and meetings held on campus involve catered food and student assistants are sometimes on the front lines of preparing and cleaning up. Oftentimes, leftovers will be available to the student workers. Additionally, staff members will sometimes bring in food or sweets for all office employees to enjoy. It’s a pretty sweet perk – especially when the leftover food is dessert.

For More on Student Assistant Roles

To apply for student assistant positions with the university, go to the Career Center tab in your student portal and select “Jobs and Internships,” narrowing your search specifically to student assistant roles. Additional student jobs are available at Associated Students Inc. and the Auxiliary Services Corporation.

Be sure to upload a well-written and thorough résumé and cover letter when applying for student positions. Be as professional in your interview as you would when seeking a non-student job and consider creating an online or print portfolio of your relevant work to increase the likelihood that you will be selected for the position.

Once employed, be sure to devote yourself fully to your job when on the clock and be thankful. You have been given an incredible opportunity and use it to the fullest!

About dcoats

I'm Daniel Coats, a CSU Fullerton Communications graduate student
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