Universities have long provided students with opportunities for paid work, with many institutions running extensive on-campus employment programs. These tend to be enthusiastically welcomed by students, both for the money earned and the professional experience provided. With rising student debt levels, now totaling over $1.7 trillion in the US, this is hardly surprising.
Of course, appointing students for on-campus roles benefits the universities too. Enabling students to earn while they study helps support retention rates while adding to the sense of community. Meanwhile, posts are likely to be filled more quickly with less time spent on search and selection.
In the case of work placements in media checkout stores, it’s been common practice for our customer universities for many years, with connect2 software oiling the wheels for efficient and supportive team working. A rota of student workers enables stores to open longer hours, cutting down on waiting times as customers arrive and enabling them to pick up kit into the evening once classes are over. With extra precautions being taken in recent times, longer opening hours also make it possible to stagger checkout/ins slots throughout the day, building in time for cleaning and allowing more social distancing.
Smart recruitment decisions
So student employment programs amount to an arrangement of mutual benefit. The advantages tend to increase when students are hired from within their own department. In the case of media store employment, students’ familiarity of handling the kit from their classes – for example journalism students' use of cameras – adds to a store's pool of expertize. It also ensures the new recruits are quickly up and running when helping other students with the equipment. At the same time, it means they are carrying out work that relates to their studies, potentially supporting future career goals.
The arrangement functions particularly well when the department has operations structured in a way that are quick and easy for new workers to grasp. This is the case for our customer universities who are able to get students coordinating equipment loans with minimal training using the connect2 checkout software.
Connect2 provides efficient workflows, data and permissions which support less experienced workers while assisting team communication.
Here’s how connect2 helps:
- It supports different levels of authority and responsibility, supporting both students and their supervisors in their roles
- The system automatically recognizes who is permitted to borrow each resource, so avoids checkouts to unauthorized borrowers, especially while workers are still learning the ropes
- It eases communication between team members working different shifts by providing an enduring central record of all equipment lending activity and the status of all items
- A remote overview of all scheduled and completed check-in/out activity enables managers to monitor desk activity while working elsewhere and also to plan ahead
- Connect2 authenticates to the student database with single sign on (SSO), so there's no need to set up passwords for new workers or deal with those that have been lost
Student workers, connect2 and the future
Media store student workers have already built up a great track record, adding flexibility in how long the service can stay open and the range of knowledge available at the desk at any time. With the kind of support provided by connect2, media stores are in a stronger position to offer work experience to students, helping them to meet the growing need to earn money, develop job-ready skills and demonstrate employability.
Talk to Lorensbergs about how connect2 supports a student worker environment, for greater job satisfaction, fewer training needs, and a more efficient operation. Request a copy of our in-depth Connect2 Student Worker Report today.