Rachel Sobolev ’14 applied for seven campus jobs this fall, interviewed for one, and wasn’t hired for any.
Between fall 2008 and fall 2009, the Student Employment Office saw a 10 percent drop in the number of working students. Though this year’s employment numbers have not yet been released, tightening budgets across the University may mean student jobs could continue to be eliminated. Individual employers that are offering student jobs said they have received more applications than usual, and a majority of students interviewed said they, like Sobolev, have had difficulty getting campus jobs.
At the same time, Yale’s financial aid policy has raised the amount of self-help contribution students are required to earn themselves each year. Though administrators have not yet calculated whether student employment has declined, they say students should have no more difficulty than usual this year.
Heather Abati, manager of student jobs, said the office has not received any complaints this year and so it has not looked into whether there is any additional shortage of opportunities. Director of Financial Aid Caesar Storlazzi said his office will not have hard numbers on whether job offerings have decreased until November. He added that, as usual, students on financial aid were given priority in the job search process until Sept. 15.
“New jobs are posted daily and hiring is in full force,” he said, citing 482 job openings listed as of last Thursday.
But five of seven students interviewed said they had trouble getting those jobs.
Abhinav Nayar ’14 said most of his friends sent out upwards of 10 job applications but did not receive any offers.
“I remember someone joking about having sent in fewer college applications than job applications,” he said.
Freshmen who received jobs tended to apply early in the year, Joseph Yagoda ’14 said. But for most people, he said, finding paid jobs has been nearly impossible.
“I know that some freshmen have actually resorted to doing as many studies as possible in order to make money,” Yagoda said. “One of my suitemates has made quite a lot from a few [School of Management] experiments, a psych experiment and an MRI scan.”
Abati said it should be no more difficult for freshmen to get jobs than upperclassmen, since there are jobs available to students from all years, but two of three upperclassmen interviewed said they found it easier to find jobs this year than in years past because they have had more time to build up job experience.
Kelly Campbell ’13 said that while she applied last year and did not find any on-campus jobs, this year she has two. Employers may have been more likely to hire her this year, she said, because of her experience from the off-campus job at a local store she held as a freshman.
Two of three job managers interviewed, however, said they prefer to hire freshmen instead of upperclassmen.
“We prefer freshmen because we would like to have someone who might want to stick around in the future,” said Anne Rhodes, a research archivist at the Music Library, “as opposed to a senior who would become familiar with the job and then possibly leave.”
She added that two hours after posting her job advertisement this Tuesday, she had already received several applications.
Mary Pan, a lab manager in the Department of Neurobiology, said she has received more applications this year than in previous years, which she said may be because students are having difficulty finding jobs. She also prefers to hire freshmen, she said, because they are more suited for entry-level lab work.
However, Philip Askenase, professor of medicine and chief of allergy and clinical immunology at Yale Medical Center, blamed the administrators in charge of posting student jobs for students’ reported difficulty finding jobs this year.
“Apparently all advertisements on the student jobs website must be renewed after a month, but neither my business office nor I were aware of this,” he said. “As a result, my advertisement did not appear at the peak of student interest.”
All student jobs are posted online throughout the year at www.yalestudentjobs.org.