By Shaniele Brown
CCC Journalism Program
BLACKWOOD – Finding a job that understands you’re a student first can be hard. With the help of work study, students can be employed by their college or university.
At Camden County College in Blackwood, students can participate in the work study program as long as they’re on financial aid. According to the Federal Student Aid website, federal work study allows students with financial needs to earn money to help pay education expenses.
Jayne McGovern-Unger, the federal work study and special projects coordinator, stated students can work at the library, computer lab and various other places on campus.
Once students are awarded their financial aid money, they’re asked if they would be interested in joining work study. McGovern-Unger helps with finding the best suitable job that interests the students. Her office is on the Blackwood campus on the second floor of Taft Hall.
“For many students this will be their first job so once they’re done with me they will have a mini-interview with the department. On average, we have about 30-plus departments between all three campuses that participate. Every year I look to bring on another department,” McGovern-Unger said.
Twenty-year-old Ebube Ajaegbu of Stratford, New Jersey, has been at Camden County College for a little more than a year. Ajaegbu works for the computer lab on the Blackwood campus. He said he enjoys working for the school, the pay and the flexibility.
“I’m able to do my homework while I work and the commute to work is very close,” he said.
Ajaegbu said he works up to 12 hours a week with his work schedule arranged around his class schedule.
“Working for the college has opened up doors for me. A letter of recommendation was written for me to receive a job at Voorhees Senior Living,” he stated.
Work study is one of the first programs that started under the Higher Education Act of 1965. According to the college website, work study encourages community service as well as work related to the recipient’s course of study.
Felicia Bryant, the financial aid director, said the program can be beneficial.
“Students are able to work 20-hour weeks. The administration values the student’s time and talents, so they’ve voted to start the students off at $10, which is a little higher than minimum wage. Work study is beneficial with helping students to pay for other things that financial aid may not cover,” Bryant said.
Nineteen-year-old Cameron Mortimer of Sicklerville, New Jersey, has been at Camden County College for two years. A manager at Rita’s, Mortimer said she would love to have a job on campus during the off-seasons for her current position.
“It would be cool to have a job on campus. I feel like I would be a good asset to the library department because of my customer service skills,” she stated.
Mortimer said she didn’t know where she could find jobs on campus, but Bryant said, “Jobs are advertised through the college homepage, electronically and we encourage our teachers to tell students of the opportunities.”