By Dyllan Cook, Career Jack

As my senior year of college steadily approaches I’ve found myself, on more than one occasion, reflecting on the time I’ve spent here at NAU. To put an awfully long story short, I’ve spent my time here at NAU trying to master what some may call the impossible: Figuring out how to achieve good grades, maintain a social life, hold down a part-time job, and get enough rest is something I’ve found to be extremely difficult, yet possible. I’ve been rejected and then accepted into NAU’s nursing program, I’ve made friends through joining clubs and Greek life, I’ve held part-time positions in both on- and off-campus jobs (I’m currently working on-campus for NAU Career Development as a Career Jack and previously worked at the Flagstaff Mall), and on very special occasions I’ve been able to find the time to sleep in. But through all of my personal experiences, I’ve found that finding the perfect part-time job can greatly impact your ability to balance all that going to a university has to offer.

On-Campus vs Off-Campus Employment

The age old question; “What’s better during your time as an undergrad: an on- or off-campus job?” The answer is neither. It all depends on what works best for you and your preferences as an individual. But, if you’re anything like me and prefer straight forward answers, opposed to the answer I just gave you, I’m going to break down the benefits of both on and off-campus student employment so you can decide what the best option for you is.

Benefits of Working On-Campus:

  1. Living On-Campus:

    If you are an incoming freshman getting ready to embark on your journey as an undergrad, it’s probable to assume that you’ll be living on campus. Having an on-campus job while also living on-campus, can make your first year of college that much easier. Whether streets are closed due to a massive snowstorm, or Milton is completely backed up with traffic, you’ll never have to worry about your commute to work.

  2. Flexibility around Classes:

    We are all attending NAU in order to accomplish one goal: receive a degree. On-campus jobs know that school comes as a first priority, and they allow you to customize your ideal schedule. If your class schedule has an odd two hour gap in between classes, it’s likely that you’ll be able to pick up a shift in order to close that awkward window of time.

  3. Making Connections On-Campus:

    There are many types of on-campus jobs located in all different departments and fields here at NAU. No matter what field you plan on going into, it’s likely that you’ll be able to find job opportunities within those departments, leading to connections that could potentially set you further in your future career journey.

Benefits of Working Off-Campus:

  1. Living Off-Campus:

    If you live off-campus, you have the opportunity to find work that is within close proximity to your home. Being able to walk or bike to work can really help ensure that you’re making it to work on time, especially during those unpredictable winter months here in Flagstaff.

  2. Transferability:

    NAU is a university to both in-state and out-of-state students, as well as students who are studying abroad. If you held a part-time position in your hometown that also has a location here in Flagstaff, you may be able to transfer directly to Flagstaff’s location. This can be extremely beneficial in maintaining a steady part-time job throughout the entire year, even during winter and summer breaks.

  3. Making Connections Off-Campus:

    You may find that you are able to make genuine connections with the faculty on-campus by simply attending your classes. Having a job off-campus could increase the amount of connections you’re making during your time as an undergrad. Making connections in the community could help in obtaining the necessary experience needed to learn the transferrable skills employers are looking for.

Now that you know the benefits of both on- and off-campus jobs, here are some tips for landing the job, balancing it all, while still making the most of your NAU experience!

Student Employment Tips

  1. How to Land Your Perfect Part-Time Job:

    Whether you are looking for on-campus or off-campus employment during your time as an undergrad, Handshake is a great tool. Handshake is the online job platform NAU uses enabling you to see all types of job opportunities both part-time and full-time, on-campus or off-campus. You can also set up on-on-one appointments via Handshake with NAU Career Development team members to ensure your resume and cover letter are ready to be reviewed by potential employers.

  2. How to Balance School and Work:

    Organization and communication are vital components in balancing responsibilities. I live and breathe by my planner in order to know what I will have going on weeks in advance, allowing me to inform my employer weeks in advance as well. School should always be your highest priority during your time here at NAU. No matter who your employer is, you should make them aware of your school schedule early on. Doing this will make both their life and your life easier in the long run.

If you feel like you have a good grasp on the benefits of both on- and off-campus student employment as well as ways to balance school, work, and a social life after reading this: pay a visit to NAU’s 2017 Part-Time Job Fair on August 25th and find the perfect part-time job for you.

For more information regarding student employment visit:


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