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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Off-campus employment competition tough for students

Gordon Bates / Arizona Daily Wildcat

Which Wich is one of the few businesses within walking distance from campus that is currently hiring. Off campus jobs have become particularly scarce, especially with the recent increase in student body population.
Gordon Bates
Gordon Bates / Arizona Daily Wildcat Which Wich is one of the few businesses within walking distance from campus that is currently hiring. Off campus jobs have become particularly scarce, especially with the recent increase in student body population.

Students looking for off-campus jobs this semester may have to travel farther than University Boulevard.

Many of the shops and restaurants near campus have already filled their staff for this semester, and those still hiring plan on filling available positions within the next few weeks as student employees change their schedules or quit.

Peter Sutter, general manager of Red Velvet Cupcakery on University Boulevard, is currently hiring students for the fall semester. Sutter estimates 90 percent of Red Velvet employees are UA students.

“”It’s not always easy, but we do the best we can,”” Sutter said about working around student schedules. “”Sometimes I have to hire more people than I want to.””

Students applying at businesses close to campus face steep competition from other students.

“”We’re so close to campus it’s almost like working on campus,”” said Becca Rand, a graphic design senior who also works at Pitaya. “”It’s actually really convenient working here.””

This competition can make it difficult to land a job within walking distance.    

Rand’s fellow Pitaya employee, physiology freshman Cleyrissa Robinson applied for numerous jobs near campus last year and waited months before being hired.

“”I got this job nine months after I applied for it,”” Robinson said. “”I looked everywhere.””

Not all nearby employers are fully staffed, however. Which Wich announced Friday that it is still looking to fill several positions for the upcoming semester. Competition is just as fierce, though. The restaurant has already received about 50 applications according to General Manager Jessica Lugo.

“”It probably just depends on how it goes. Some people might quit because of school,”” Lugo said.

Some students have been able to avoid this competition by using personal connections to find jobs. One such student is retailing and consumer sciences senior Mary Ann Srulowitz, who was recently hired as a personal assistant for a mortgage loaner.

“”I was looking all over. Nothing really worked with my schedule,”” Srulowitz said. “”I saw a lot were hiring but the hours weren’t what I was looking for. I knew someone who knew someone. I got lucky.””

Students with specialized skills or interests may have more luck in finding a job off-campus.

“”Right now we’re seeing a trend upward,”” said Karen Stafford, employer relations senior specialist for UA Career Services and overseer of Wildcat JobLink. “”There’s definitely more off-campus jobs than on-campus jobs.””

Wildcat JobLink is a website for UA students where employers post open positions. Jobs on the website are not limited to the Tucson area but many jobs are available for current UA students.

“”There are a lot of jobs for Tucson. They’re both part-time and full-time,”” Stafford said. “”It stays consistent throughout the semester.””

Many of the jobs offered on the site vary from traditional restaurant and retail positions to graphic design, accounting, finance, tutoring and nanny duties.

Tony Barletta, president and co-founder of the tutoring service Pass Math Class uses JobLink to target UA students for current hiring.

“”If we’ve got engineering students or (students) going into education, that’s a big plus,”” Barletta said. “”Right now most of our tutors are UA students.””

Barletta also said academically successful students are the most valued tutors, for obvious reasons.

“”We pretty much do target them because we know they’re studying,”” Barletta said. “”We’ve got some kind of assurance they study well and would make a good tutor.””

For those students still searching for jobs this semester, the prospects are slim and the process can be frustrating.

“”It just seems like everyone’s looking for a job,”” Srulowitz said. “”Every once and awhile someone gets one.””

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