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Campus jobs equip students with practical work experience

Student Affairs annually employs more than 620 student workers to work across its 17 departments across campus. In 2015, Student Affairs launched the Carolina Excellence to engage students in learning opportunities designed to help them develop critical skills or competencies. The initiative emphasizes Dynamic Learning, Personal Growth and Community Engagement.

“Carolina Excellence is a co-curricular learning framework developed to help students build the skills needed to succeed at and after Carolina,” said Belinda Locke, director of Assessment for Student Affairs. “The framework includes many of the competencies identified by NACE, the National Association of Colleges and Employers, as these are skills employers are looking for in new hires.” 

The Carolina Union employs more than 200 students with jobs ranging from Data Analytics Coordinator to Design Assistant to Operations Lead. Ashley Ernest ’19 worked in the Business Services Office as a Business & Finance Assistant. Her position prepared her for her current job at a nonprofit with responsibilities in finance, fundraising and grant writing. She gained interpersonal communication and administrative skills that were directly carried over to her current position. Her position empowered her to pursue a role in finance that she says she would not have had the confidence otherwise to pursue.

Campus Rec is the largest department employer with more than 550 students. Some of their 14 student jobs include Lifeguards, Equipment Room Staff, Fitness Instructors and Marketing and Promotions Staff. “All the skills you learn in Campus Rec help you in the workforce!” says Yazmire Witherspoon ’21. “Campus Rec allowed me to be comfortable and confident in my skills which allow me to succeed in the workforce. For example, learning the basics of recruiting, interviewing and hiring at Campus Rec helped me gain the position I am in now as an HR Recruiter for Sports Endeavors. In the fall I will begin my full-time role with Techtronic’s Industries within their Leadership Development Management Program.” 

“We are putting the final touches on a new strategic plan for Student Affairs. One of the objectives prioritized in the plan focuses on staff development. One strategy supporting this objective is to formalize a student leader/employment training model. The model will include core learning outcomes emphasizing career readiness.” 

Yazmire added, “Even when I did not know exactly what I wanted to be, Campus Rec was able to provide a sense of family that I was missing while at UNC. I found my sense of belonging and life-long friends and memories that I will always cherish.” 

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