You better work!

I have had a lot of jobs in the past three years.
And by “a lot” I mean NINE JOBS since I started college.

Before college, I never worked a “real” job. I started babysitting early, probably around 12 or 13. I mostly made my spending money that way, but also house-sat, dog-sat and taught beginning violin lessons throughout high school.
I also was a Science Camp counselor for a week. Random, I know.

Anyway, as soon as I got to Mizzou, I applied to a million places for my first “real,” taxable job. And I’ve apparently been addicted to work since then.

Here’s a little infographic I made to illustrate my resume.

I decided to write this post because my main job this year (student coordinator for Mizzou’s FIGs program) will probably be/has already been written about here, and I wanted to provide a little context/background on what I do exactly. So here are some summaries of the jobs I’ve had:

Ellis Library Copy Center: September 2007-May 2009
My first “real” job freshman year through sophomore year. The first two semesters and summer I worked there I mainly worked with my adult professional staff and a few international students. I had brutally boring Thursday night closing shifts that I resented for making me miss “Lost” and making me walk back to my residence hall at 11 pm, but for the most part, it was a great part-time first job. I did a lot of reading and homework in the down times, but I also learned all the tricks of a Xerox machine, how to un-jam copiers, how to fax things and how to bind things. Very useful skills. After a year there, the copy place that used to reside in Brady Commons moved in and took over the Ellis Copy Center, so I got a new boss and a ton of new student co-workers, which was really nice. I became friends with them and still keep in touch with some of them! Plus the Brady copy place was way fancier than the Ellis one, so I got to learn a whole bunch of new skills like spiral binding, folding, laminating and saddle stitching. Fascinating, right?

The Gap: May 2008-May 2009
My friend Chelsea and I always joked back in high school that The Gap was our dream job. We loved the classy clothes and the discount would be phenomenal. Well, the summer after my freshman year, I made the dream a reality. That summer and the following fall I worked fairly regularly. That winter break I transferred to the Gap in the Parks Mall in Arlington over Christmas Break, which was honestly one of the most exhausting experiences at my life. Before, in Columbia, I would be tired after a four-hour shift with a 15-minute break, but in Texas, I worked eight-hour days with 30-minute lunches. At the Parks Mall. Ew. But the discount was worth it. Fifty percent off full-price items and 30 percent of sale items. The trick was to wait until the clothes I wanted went majorly on sale, and then I could get them cheap plus 30 percent off. Legit. Unfortunately the spring semester I worked there, I worked there so little that I pretty much was jut paid in clothes. Oh well. I quit when they changed the discount policy to ten percent off sale items. My cardigan collection is vibrant and healthy thanks to that year.

Mark Twain Peer Advisor: August 2008-May 2010
I’m not sure if I can even sum up this job  in 200ish words. For those of you who don’t go to Mizzou, a peer advisor is essentially an RA who also teaches a one-hour credit course about the transition to college and the introduction to a certain major or interest area to about 20 freshman who live in your residence hall. (Those 20 students are your FIG.) I was a PA in Twain for two years and had some of the best and worst experiences of my life while there. I caught a glimpse of almost every problem a freshman might face, including depression, suicide, eating disorders, romantic strife, pregnancy, gambling addiction, drug problems, alcohol problems and more. I also had a blast. I loved my kids on my floor and my staff members; some of them are my closest friends here now. There’s so much more than I could say about this job, but I might bore you. I’ll just sum up by saying this: this job changed my life and is a huge reason I’m going to grad school.

Membership Host at the Mizzou Recreation Complex: May 2009-October 2009
The summer after my sophomore year I had to stay in Columbia to take my reporting class at the Missourian. I needed a job and applied to be a summer ResLife staffer, but was not hired, which was somewhat devastating to me. Luckily my friend Amelia hooked me up with the Rec Center job. It wasn’t the most fun thing I’ve ever done; I swiped people’s IDs hour after hour (sometimes starting at 5:30 am.) But I liked the people I worked with (if I was at the West Desk; you work alone at the East Desk, and it kind of sucks.), and I got to wear a snazzy Under Armour Mizzou polo, so I’m not complaining.

Journalism Ambassador: February 2009-Present
I sort of applied to this job on a whim, not really knowing what I was getting myself into. All I knew was I gave tours of the Journalism School to prospective students, which sounded cool, so I applied. I got the job and have really enjoyed getting to be a part of some students’ college decision. It’s been really fun to meet random kids on campus who ask, “Do you give Journalism School tours? I think you gave me one.” I had an influence on their decision! How cool! The problem now is that I feel like a HUGE POSER telling kids to come to the Journalism School when I’m not even going into journalism. The parents are always like, “Well what are you going to do when you graduate? The job market is terrible right now…” “Um… I’m going to grad school… But the J-School is still awesome!” Awk.

Mark Twain Front Desk Supervisor: August 2009-May 2010
Basically for this job I ran the front desk of Mark Twain. I was in charge of nine desk attendants and their training. I signed pay checks, wrote evaluations and basically made sure everything ran smoothly. It was kind of hard at first because I had never been a desk attendant, so I was training people to do a job I had never done (and some of those people
had done it), but I think I did a good job overall. For Halloween I turned the desk into a castle. It was freaking legit.

Residential Life Marketing Intern: October 2009-Present
I freaking love this job, and I did not think I was qualified for it when I got it. It was a total God thing that I did. I had just quit my job at the Rec Center because I felt overwhelmed with responsibilities. I had also been praying that God would show me what He wanted me to do with my life because after a summer of reporting for the Missourian, I knew I didn’t want to do that for the rest of my life. I was thinking about Student Affairs, but I still wasn’t sure. The J-School sends out internship opportunities over email, and I almost never read them because I didn’t have time for an internship, but one week in October, I decided to read the email and saw this job listed. I didn’t really have the time or experience necessary, but I applied anyway. It was the perfect mix of what I liked about journalism (design) and student affairs. I had taken exactly 1.5 months of Magazine Design at this point and knew the bare essentials of InDesign and Photoshop. All I had to show for my job interview were some bulletin boards I had made for Twain and the front desk in Photoshop and as assignment from Mag Design. I showed up, reluctantly gave Jill my resume and expected nothing, but she hired me there on the spot. It was awesome. So since then I have basically got to do most of the design work for ResLife, including designing all the community T-shirts, the marketing for ROAR and student staff selection, etc. It’s a pretty legit job.

Housekeeping Quality Control for the YMCA of the Rockies: May 2010-August 2010
My summer job from this past year! It had some highs and lows, but I’ve already written about them! Check out my LT posts from this summer for more info.

Freshman Interest Groups Student Coordinator: March 2010-Present
This is the job I do now! I am one of five former PAs who now supervise current PAs on how to handle their FIG class. I am in charge of 23 journalism PAs and help them with class ideas and lesson plans. I meet with all of them (in groups of 5 or 6) once a week to talk about how classes are going. I also have a weekly meeting with the other SCs, the FIGs Coordinator (our boss Pat), the director of Residential Life and the Dean of Arts and Sciences to talk about how the program is going in general and how we can improve it. It’s been an awesome experience so far and I hope to work with a similar program after I finish grad school!

So at the most, I had five jobs at once. Now I’m down to three, but I only give two journalism tours a month, so it’s really more like two. Hope I didn’t bore you with all my jobs, but I think I’ve had a pretty interesting variety!

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