College is all about balance. From jobs and internships to classes and clubs, students quickly need to adjust to campus life and find ways to manage a hectic schedule.
Different students have different needs, but they can all be accommodated with the right position. There are plenty of ways to find work-life stability in D.C., no matter what your schedule is like.
If you have a full class schedule: Work-study
Even with classes, discussion sections and labs filling your weekdays, it is possible to strike a balance and get a job. Work-study jobs work well for busy schedules because you don’t have to waste time commuting off campus, and the jobs are typically flexible because employers are used to working with students’ schedules. Handshake, GW’s new job search platform, is the place to look for these opportunities. Unfortunately, work-study can be part of financial aid packages from the federal government, so not everyone has this option. But similar jobs are often available to non-work-study students as well.
Work-study jobs can have you doing everything from scanning GWorld cards as students enter the Lerner Health and Wellness Center to calling alumni and soliciting donations while working at Colonial Connection.
If you have a light class load: Internship
If you are only attending class two days a week and kicking back to relax the other days, consider getting an internship. Working as an intern can build your resume with professional experience and help determine if the career path you’ve chosen is the right one for you.
Although it is a great way to make connections, it isn’t always the best way to make cash since most are unpaid. But if you can score a light course load and a paid internship, you’ll have the perfect setup.
In the District, you’re lucky to be surrounded by businesses, organizations and government offices that are always looking for eager students. Working as a “hilltern” is considered a rite of passage for many students. But if you typically shy away from politics, there are other unique D.C. opportunities, like working at embassies, world-famous museums and top research organizations. Sign up for department email blasts and try searching your school’s specific website, where you can find various internship opportunities that interest you.
If you want to give back: Nashman Center
If you’re a student who has a full class schedule, can survive on Colonial Cash for the semester but still wants to get involved, then the Nashman Center has a solution. Through the center, it is easy to find low-commitment, rewarding work in the D.C. area.
GW SMARTDC, a program offered through the Nashman Center, places GW students as tutors and mentors in D.C. public schools. You can apply to be a Freshman Day of Service leader or sign up for GW Alternative Breaks – a program that sends students around the globe to do volunteer work during fall, winter and spring break. If these don’t appeal to you, then the Nashman Center has many other ways to give back. To find out about these opportunities, attend the student organization fair or read up on their website.
If you want to venture into the city: Off-campus job
Getting a job off campus gives you more options beyond just sitting behind a desk in an academic setting. By commuting outside Foggy Bottom, you can explore the city, meet people from other schools and connect with professionals already in the workforce.
From coffee shops and restaurants to retail stores and even D.C. tours, there’s never a shortage of employers in the city looking to hire students. Try using Monster or similar job-search websites to find something that interests you.