Work study faces change during COVID-19


Junior Mary Larson sits at the Monroe Library check-in desk as a student worker in the work study program. Due to COVID-19, the options for work study jobs have changed. Photo credit: Michael Bauer

Valerie Cronenbold

Due to campus life changing to being mostly online, new students haven’t had the same availability to job opportunities in Loyola’s work study program as those in previous years.

According to Rachel Dirmann, director of human resources, Loyola has also seen a slower response regarding work study from new students in the first couple of weeks of classes compared to when the department held large on-campus events that students could attend in order to complete the placement process.

As students have settled into classes over the last few weeks, however, Dirmann said the department has seen an increase in students completing the process to be placed in work study jobs. Human resources has also made appointments for the contactless completion of the hiring process online.

In human resources’ current model, many students will work remotely for the entire semester. Other opportunities include professional development through the Career Development Center for new and returning work study students in the work study class available to them.

Despite COVID-19 changing typical protocol, human resources and student affairs have set up various ways for students to find opportunities online. Rather than having the large in-person orientation and on-campus job fairs, all work study students have been enrolled in a work study class through Canvas.

Videos and PowerPoints of the new orientation is available in Canvas along with a short, open book quiz that new students need to pass in order to be placed. The quiz can be taken as many times as needed by new students to ensure they understand the requirements of the work study program, Dirmann said.

Other resources available in the work study class include videos explaining how to apply for jobs in Handshake. Job descriptions in Canvas show whether the work setting is remote or not.

With the new HyFlex format of classes on campus, some students have lost their previous positions.

Agata Casanova, junior, is no longer involved in the work study program because her previous position at the health center was cancelled.

“I’m not working because the health center is being really cautious with students and the spreading of the disease,” Casanova said.

Although other work study positions are available, her personal choice was not to reapply to the program this semester. She said she liked working at the health center and was disappointed her position was annulled.

“[Students] would come in all sad and lonely, but I liked to make them laugh while they waited for their turn,” Casanova said.