Summer brings job openings

by Devin Foxall | 7/17/01 5:00am

A growing number of job opportunities during the summer at Dartmouth has allowed students to be more selective, but has also made it harder for some employers to find enough help.

"We have an ever expanding job base. There's unprecedented opportunity for students," Donna Desjardins, the director of the Student Employment Office, said.

At the same time, the increasing variety of job options has put more pressure on the larger College employers -- specifically the Library System and Dining Services -- to quickly find enough student employees.

"The difficulty has really been experienced in Dartmouth Dining Services," Desjardins said.

Kelly Mousley, the personnel administrator for DDS, said that while there remain openings at the various dining facilities, there are currently no serious shortages. "We seem pretty well staffed."

It's "always" hard to find enough student employees, Mousley said, but reduced dining services provided during the summer make the shortages easier to deal with.

During the summer, there are about 25 Dartmouth students working in DDS compared with 125 during the normal school year, she said.

Library Administrative Specialist Corky Scott said that it has become increasingly hard to find student employees, especially during the summer.

"Unlike other places across campus, the library doesn't slow down during the summer," Scott said. "We are continually busy. We always need as many students as we ever need."

Around 120 students work in the Dartmouth Library System during the summer, compared with roughly 150 during the rest of the year, he said.

"Every term is a challenge. Especially during the summer," Scott explained. "In the summer we have so much difficulty finding as many students as we'd like that we hire high school students and people from outside the College."

The library has not always had to look beyond the student population to find employees, he said.

"At one point, I had so many students interested in working in the library that we actually hired a student to hire students. We had students lined up six-deep in my office, and out the door, and around the bend waiting to see me, usually on the first day of classes."

Scott couldn't give any specific reasons why it has become harder to find student employees, except that perhaps students now want more time to study, even if this means not having a job.

Some students, he says, want both.

"I have some students who come in and tell me, 'I want a job but I really don't want to work. I want a job where I can study.' And I tell them 'Sorry, but we have no positions open.' We don't want people whose first inclination is to not work."

Desjardins, the student employment director, said roughly half of Dartmouth students have jobs. However, it is impossible to determine specifically how many work or whether employment percents changes in the summer because the current computer system is not set up to track such information.

It is also hard to pinpoint the number of students who work off campus, she said.

Increasingly students have begun looking beyond the typical summer job, Desjardins said, noting that many students now work with individual professors, perform community service or apply for Tucker Foundation fellowships.

Others love the continuity that a steady job provides. "Students have told me that they like to stay with an employer because it gives them a level of stability that the D-Plan doesn't," she said.