Friday Feature: Work-Study Benefits with Noah Nelson & Amy Severns

I sat down with Coastline’s esports writer Noah Nelson & newsletters whiz Amy Severns, who both happen to be Coastline students, to discuss the mostly pros of doing work-study.

Screen Shot 2021-02-26 at 3.35.30 PM-1

Work-Study. Two words mashed together, bridged by a dash like a barbell bridging weight plates. And just like your barbell, participating in work-study is a heavy lift for students, but one that comes with lots of rewards. I spoke to Noah Nelson, Coastline student, work-study doer, and our resident esports expert and writer, about why work-study pays off for students, how it has helped him, and potentially how it could help you too. I also had the pleasure of gaining some written responses from Coastline’s busy, but brilliant, email newsletter specialist, Amy Severns, who is also a Coastline student participating in work-study. In our conversation and email thread, Noah and Amy each brought up a few points, about work-study and more, that I’ll emphasize.

Get Your Associate's Degree to Transfer to a 4-Year College!

GettyImages-1201405255 Getty

Start by Talking to Your Professors

Noah is pursuing his Associates to Transfer in English from Coastline. At the start of the pandemic, he was looking for professional opportunities that he could engage in (especially related to media, culture, and video gaming) while at school. He reached out to his professors, who brought up the esports writing role within Coastline’s Marketing department and the rest, as they say, is history.

It’s a simple story, but perhaps uncommon in Noah’s willingness to talk to his professors. Corresponding with your professors is a critical way of broadening your network, potential gaining new insights, and developing as a student beyond the classroom. As Amy said aptly: “Sure, jobs in the cafeteria and library are usually filled by work-study students,” but “there are also a number of career and major focused jobs that students can obtain, usually by talking with professors, counselors, or advisors.

Learn More About Coastline's English Program & Courses!

GettyImages-146734493 Getty

Work-Study is...

An Opportunity to Make Some Money

First and foremost, work-study is a chance to make some money while you’re still in school. It’s an opportunity to be employed as a student, potentially helping pay for college, which as we’ve discussed is one of the unspoken challenges of college in the first place. Work-study jobs offer students the opportunity, as Amy and Coastline has put it, "to earn as they learn."

Check Out Coastline's Marketing & Communications Programs!

GettyImages-1220613460 Getty

A Resume Builder

Work-study is a way of boosting your resume. Yes, as Amy said, many work-study jobs revolve around menial work of one kind or another, but there are also plenty of opportunities to find a work-study role at your college that suits your interests and gives you experience in your field. Both Noah and Amy do work-study with the marketing team, which allowed them to gain “invaluable on-the-job experience” that they may not have received until their first entry-level position.

Even if your work-study job isn’t in your dream field or career, it still looks great on your resume. Because it shows time management skills and drive, both of which employers look for in potential hires. All of which neatly segues into the next benefit of work-study.

Learn More About Federal Work-Study @ Coastline Now!

GettyImages-1226379846 Getty

A Chance to "Fine Tune" Time Management Skills

Amy mentioned this to me, framing it as both a pro and a con of work-study. Juggling part-time work with your school is not easy. “No matter what position you take, it's still a job with all the responsibilities and expectations that a job demands.” But this can also be extremely beneficial. If approached effectively, doing work-study allows you to learn the skills that managers and bosses look for in applicants: the ability to handle multiple things at once, concentrate fully on what’s at hand, then switch gears. Amy put it thusly: “Having to find the balance between my work-study position and my courses proved to be a critical skill that I'll certainly be able to apply to both my future career and education as I continue on to work on a 4-year degree.

Learn More About Coastline's English Program & Courses!

GettyImages-1220174622 Getty

A "Foot in the Door" of Your Field

For both Noah and Amy, work-study is an opportunity to get their feet in the doors of their respective fields. Noah is passionate about writing and specifically about writing about video games. Working as Coastline’s esports writer means Noah has “tangible work he can show” prospective employers in the gaming culture community.

“The networking opportunities have been invaluable as well,” Amy wrote. Networking is one of the most important tools at your disposal. Work-study gives you a chance to meet professionals, talk at length with them, and work side-by-side with them.

Check Out Coastline's Marketing & Communications Programs!

GettyImages-1214479802 Getty

Everyone could use a little practice, right? No matter who we are or what we do practicing our skillsets or abilities, sharpening them to a knife’s edge, is invaluable. For Noah, writing weekly blogs about esports is not just a portfolio he can send to folks but a chance to improve, which is ultimately what most writers find satisfying. “I can honestly get better,” Noah said and “hone in on exactly what I’m trying to say.”

For her part, Amy noted that “having the additional practice of creating designs for Marketing was a huge help” for her graphic design coursework. It also gives her a portfolio for future employers to check out as well as lets her practice her marketing, branding, design chops every day.

Learn More About Federal Work-Study @ Coastline Now!

GettyImages-1259031558 Getty

Wrappin' It Up

Work-study is ideal for students who want to add more to their plate: ready for a challenge, ready to get ahead, ready for opportunity. Reaching out to professors is a critical early step; it’s the difference between finding a work-study job that pays but little else and a work-study job that generates tangible benefits, as Noah and Amy pointed out.

Unlock Your Future @ Coastline College!

Read On