DeBlogs > Willy Subach
The most obvious benefit is straight-up proximity. There are
tons of jobs on both the Lincoln Park campus and the Loop campus. The first
year I worked at the library, I lived across the street from the library. I
could literally go from my bed to the front door of the library within four
minutes. You can’t beat that. You also can’t overstate the efficiency of being
able to get from class to work in minutes, which is why on-campus jobs are
especially convenient for commuters.
As you probably know, DePaul operates on the quarter system,
which is obviously different than the typical semester system. Unlike many
internships (most of which are based off of the semester system), on-campus
jobs are structured around the quarter system. So instead of trying to schedule
your classes around an internship that may overlap two or three weeks with the
next quarter, you can build your work schedule each quarter around your class
schedule. And if you drop a class or add a class early in the quarter and
realize that now you have class when you’re supposed to be working, most
supervisors are pretty willing to work with you and to be flexible to accommodate
your new schedule. You can expect supervisors to be extra understanding during
finals as well!
Furthermore, since on-campus jobs are based on the academic calendar, most jobs are reduced or optional during academic breaks. I’m very
close to my family, so I spend all my breaks at home. Even though the library
is open during breaks, I’ve never worked during a break (and I still have my
job!). Plus, if the university closes because of weather or something like
that, that most likely means that work is closed, too.
Nine times out of ten, I recommend searching for an on-campus job
rather than an off-campus job, especially if you’re like me and you’re lazy and
you don’t want to travel that far for work. I think an off-campus job is best
for those who really want experience in a specific, specialized field. But if
you’re just looking to earn some money on the side, you don’t need to look that
If you’re writing a resume for the first time, it can be
super intimidating. But luckily for you, DePaul has amazing resources to help
you construct your resume. I cannot recommend strongly enough that you go visit
the Career Center (or, at the very least, their website). The Career Center
offers a ton of amazing services, but my favorite one is easily the resume reviews. You can meet with a Peer Career Advisor who can help you with any
questions you have about resumes, cover letters, and interviews. If you’re in a
rush, they also offer handy walk-in appointments. Even if you’re just updating
a resume that you know is already great, I still recommend meeting with a Peer
Career Advisor. I always think it’s best if you can find someone knowledgeable
to look over your resume before you submit it.
LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION
I know a lot of people who get really hung up on how to ask a professor to write a letter
of recommendation. When I first had to ask a professor for a recommendation, I
didn’t know if I was supposed to ask them in person or if I could just ask over
email. I just ended up just stress-eating. Years later, I can tell you with great confidence
that the answer is whichever feels right to you. If you’re asking a professor
for a recommendation, you should be relatively familiar with them (hopefully
you’ve taken at least two classes with them). If the professor is more of an
old-school type, then I would ask in person. If your professor regularly uses
email or D2L to interact with the class, then they are probably cool being asked
over email. If you’re ever in doubt, be safe and ask in person.
Personally, I’ve always asked for letters of recommendation over email and let me tell you why. If someone agrees to write a letter of recommendation for you, they are doing you a favor. You should make it as easy as possible for them. Asking over email allows me to make sure that I include all of the information that the professor could possibly need and that the information is easily accessible for the professor. At a bare minimum, you should let the professor know where you’re applying, when the recommendation is due (try to give them at least a month before it’s due), and where to send the recommendation. But I like to add as much information as possible. I often summarize the company and position I’m applying to and let them know why I chose him/her for a recommendation. If the position lists any required skills or qualities that I know I’ve demonstrated in the professor’s class, I will explicitly tell them that I am hoping that they can speak about these specific skills. If the application requires that I respond to a written prompt or write a personal statement, I will attach that to the email. Adding more information will make the writing process easier for the professor and I promise it will result in a more personalized, detailed recommendation that will impress whoever reads it. And most importantly, I always write a handwritten thank you note to the professor after it’s all done and submitted. Gotta keep it classy.
case you didn’t know, the application period for most summer internships is right now. You can only imagine my
reaction when I found out that I had already missed the deadline to apply for
some summer internships (one of them literally closed on January 1st).
The sooner you start looking, the more options you will have. Also, if you need to get any letters of recommendation or if the application has any unique requirements (like a written response to some prompt), you're going to need time to prepare and complete your application.
What You’re Looking For
you even start searching, sit down and figure out what you’re looking for. Are
you able to work full-time or can you only manage part-time? What is your availability
during the summer? Can you afford an unpaid internship or do you need to be
paid? If you need to be paid, what’s the minimum you need to be paid? Figure
all of these questions out before you even start looking so you don’t waste
your time looking at jobs that won’t work for you.
finding interesting jobs can be the hardest part sometimes! Luckily, there are
so many resources available to you. For just a standard job search engine, I
like to use Indeed. But if you didn’t know, DePaul also has its own job search
engine called Handshake. In addition to listing on-campus interviews, after you
make a profile, Handshake points out all the jobs listed that you’re qualified for.
It’s a great tool, especially if you’re new to looking for jobs. Also, after you’ve
declared your major(s), make sure you’re receiving (and opening) all of the
emails sent from your department! Most departments regularly include job
listings in mass emails. And finally, talk to your professors and friends. Your
professors have most likely seen hundreds of students search for and
secure summer jobs in Chicago. They can tell you with which companies or
organizations past students have been successful. Your friends can do the same.
Ask them if they have heard of any openings or if they have seen anything that
might fit you (and obviously, if you see a job listing that sounds perfect for
someone you know, be a good friend and tell them about it).
should go without saying. Just like when you applied for college, don’t put all
your eggs in one basket. Apply to as many jobs as you find interesting. The
more options you give yourself, the better chance you have at actually getting
hired. Even after you've applied to several jobs, make it a habit to regularly search for any new job listings. I usually check every three to four days to see what's new. It can only help you.
After you’ve found some potential new jobs, it’s time to get some letters of
recommendation and polish your resume! Check back next week for more tips on
how to write the perfect resume and how to ask professors for recommendations!