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Students build resumes, earn cash through summer corps
Monday, May 20, 2013
Students build resumes, earn cash through summer corps
By Katie Land, news editor

Emily Collins (left), Samantha Wolf, and Erin Chatten.
Forget scooping ice cream or babysitting the neighbor’s kids -- today’s college student is seeking a summer job that not only pays the bills, but also helps build the professional skills that launches careers.

Oakland University’s Summer Student Campus Corps, an innovative program with internship-style positions for undergraduate students, is designed to help students bolster their resumes and earn money for school.

“The campus corps gives me something that is more than a typical summer job to put on my resume,” said Samantha Wolf, communications major and summer corps member. “This experience will make me more marketable when I apply for a ‘big girl job’ after graduation.”

Having a significant work experience is not only important to students, but is key for potential employers as well. In a highly competitive marketplace, hiring managers are constantly seeking candidates that stand out from the crowd.

“Today’s employers are seeking applicants who are academically prepared and who have had dynamic work experiences,” said Cindy Hermsen, director of Financial Aid. “Our summer corps program provides meaningful work experience in a professional setting, and has the added benefit of helping students pay for school by offering competitive wages and hours throughout the summer months.”

Now a university staple, the corps program is in its fifth season and has drawn rave reviews from students, administrators, and supervisors alike. The corps' paid positions run April through August and allow students to work up to 40 hours a week at $10 an hour, or a maximum of $6,800 over 17 weeks.

OU's summer corps program provides on campus employment for undergraduates. 
Positions for the summer 2013 corps range from IT programmers to music archivists and everything in between, including web designers, advising communications assistant, Alzheimer’s research assistant, business systems assistant, and communications intern.

Wolf is one of three senior students with diverse academic backgrounds working in Oakland’s Center for Student Activities. Each is able to head up their own project or program, while gaining transferable skills in event planning, marketing, project managing, training, writing, and public speaking.

“Working under the staff of CSA has been so valuable,” said Emily Collins, a psychology major who plans to pursue a master’s degree in education leadership. “I think I have had a well-rounded student life experience at OU. Oakland has very unique opportunities for students that other universities simply don’t have. We are so lucky to have programs like the campus corps, and have been blessed with opportunities to take on strong leadership roles.”

Biology major Erin Chatten agrees. After bouncing around a number of career ideas and academic majors, Chatten said her work with the summer corps has confirmed what she wants to do – work in higher education.

These students are among the more than 80 undergraduates having similar experiences working on various projects in the academic, administrative and auxiliary realms.

Campus corps students are often able to take ownership of their roles, and have the responsibility and freedom to manage important projects and events.

“Something that is extremely unique at OU is the ratio of undergrad to grad student opportunities. I think that if we were at a different university, it would be graduate students with our positions,” Wolf said.

“It would be grad students doing the exciting work and acting as researchers and leaders, but OU really puts an emphasis on undergrad experiences. OU offers undergrads the chance to perform important work through programs like this one, and allows undergrads this responsibility and opportunity.”

To learn more about getting involved in the Summer Student Campus Corps, contact the Financial Aid Office at (248) 370-2550 or finaid@oakland.edu.

Oakland University is a vibrant academic community with nearly 20,000 students and more than 260 degree and certificate programs. To learn more about academics, achievements, and events at OU, visit the news site at oakland.edu/newsatou and follow the news team on Twitter at @OaklandU_News.


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