After applying for 12 different campus jobs this semester, Yingzhijie Wang ’19 has not heard back from a single one. There is no way for Wang to view the status of her applications online, and the job opportunities were difficult for her to identify in the first place.
Many students on campus have expressed similar frustrations. Though individuals receiving financial aid from the University are expected to contribute toward their education by working a student job, assistance from the Student Employment Office — and the usability of their current website — is often lacking. Wang said the most inconvenient aspect of the current website is that after users submit an application, there is currently no way to assess that application’s status. Wang added that some jobs on the website are only open to graduate students, and that the website would be easier to navigate if students could exclusively search for undergraduate jobs rather than having to sift through individual descriptions. However, she added that the website is useful in that it notifies students of newly posted positions via email.
Heather Abati, associate director of student financial services, said the Student Employment Office will modify its website this fall to streamline the process of applying for on-campus jobs.
“We are currently testing enhancements to the website that will allow the students to view open positions via preview links, structure job searches more efficiently, manage their job applications — the ability to withdraw an application and view the status of application — and upload a resume or CV,” Abati said.
Students interviewed expressed mixed views on the amenability of the existing hiring system, but spoke positively about the upcoming changes to the website. Several students said that in particular, they eagerly anticipate being able to track the status of their applications, since typically students never hear back after their applications have been submitted.
Qian Liang ’19 said the website is in dire need of a new design that is easier for students to navigate. The website is “not designed for this age of technology,” Lang said, describing the system as a “website from 2004.”
Sergio Nazaire ’18, who used the website last fall to apply for his current job as a receptionist at the Children’s Museum of Connecticut, said he did not have to spend much time researching individual positions because they were all presented in a list on the website. But Nazaire echoed other students’ dissatisfaction regarding an inability to track the status of applications. He added that after applying to 20 jobs, he only heard back from one-third of those, despite sending follow-up emails to many potential employers.
In addition, Nazaire said he would like the website to include a rolling deadline for logging each week’s work hours, as opposed to the current system which requires students to log their hours by 9 a.m. Monday morning.
Despite these complaints, Abati described the website in its current state as easily navigable.
“I believe the current student employment website is user-friendly to all students and administrators,” Abati said. “With that being said, we recognize there is always room for improvement.”
Rosa Chung ’18, a visitor services assistant at the Yale University Art Gallery, agreed with Abati, noting that she is happy with the system overall. Chung added that it is very easy to find jobs that align with a student’s specific interests, adding that she knew she wanted to work at the art gallery and did not have difficulty finding a position.
But of the 100 positions Hui Yang ’19 applied for this fall, he has only heard back from 20, and he has only received one interview. The other 19 positions had already been filled, he added, though the website had not been updated to indicate that they were no longer available.
“It was not effective at all,” Yang said.
The Student Employment Office website currently lists 87 available on-campus jobs.
Correction: Due to an editing error, a previous version of this article quoted Qian Liang ’19 as saying that, “[The OCS website] is not designed for this age of technology.” In fact, Qian Liang ’19 was referring to the website for student employment, and said that “[The Student Employment Office website] is not designed for this age of technology.”