Work-study jobs are a main source of income for many college students at Morehead State. For students like Kennealy Roberts, work-study programs are vital for their ability to pay for college and gain insight into future careers.
“My work-study is my only source of income right now,” said Roberts, a sophomore with an institutional work-study at Morehead State Public Radio. “It gives me important experience and it will look really good on a resume and job applications.”
The pandemic has changed the way students approach career choices during their university education. MSU’s Career Services held their annual Career Fair on September 30 in a new virtual format instead of a traditional gathering.
“We were trying to come up with a way to keep our students connected with employers and graduate programs,” said Megan Boone, Director for the Office of Career Services.
The emphasis on social distancing and the dangers of close contact could be discouraging to students looking for work-study positions.
“I was talking to an on-campus department who had only received one application for an institutional work-study position,” said Boone. “The students are not even searching or looking for their opportunities, they’re kind of just throwing up their hands and giving up and I don’t think that’s the right attitude.”
Federal and institutional work-studies have not changed from previous semesters, but safety guidelines were set to be followed by all workplaces including social distancing.
“As far as my ability to maintain a job and school, the pandemic really hasn't made it harder for me to juggle,” said Roberts. “The hardest thing right now for me is not being able to work with a lot of my colleagues.”
The pandemic may not have much of an impact on the current work-study programs, but students will have to adapt to the new rules set by the pandemic in order to get the career they desire. “The students now really have to take advantage of these opportunities and think about ways of setting themselves apart,” said Boone.