Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Earn while you learn: Work study opportunities at Peirce

We've talked a lot here about the importance of having relevant work experience on your resume. When you can talk to a potential employer about internships and co-ops you completed, you're showing them that you know what the corporate world is like and have been exposed to things you just can't learn in a classroom.

And there’s another option for students looking to tie work experience into their academic lives -- work study. Work study programs combine the learning aspect of an internship or co-op with the paycheck of a part-time job, and are actually a type of financial aid. Peirce College participates in the Federal College Work Study Program (FCWSP).

FCWSP is a form of federal aid awarded by the Student Financial Aid Office. Students who qualify can satisfy a portion of their documented financial need through part-time employment at Peirce College while they're also enrolled in classes.

Just like a part-time job, work study students are paid an hourly wage and receive a paycheck. But the money they earn comes from federal aid, not directly from their employer. Some benefits of work study include:
  • Flexible hours that revolve around your school schedule.
  • The money you earn is not counted as income to determine your need for financial aid, so you won’t disqualify yourself by making more.
Right now, students are working in the Peirce College library and the Financial Aid and Career Development Services departments as part of the work study program. Peirce also participates in the Federal Work Study Community Service Program. This allows for off-campus, part-time employment with nonprofits or government agencies that are approved through Peirce.

If you’re interested in participating in work study, you can start the process by sending your resume to We’ll work with you to determine your eligibility. You’ll need a GPA of 2.0 or higher, and must qualify for work study funds through financial aid. If you qualify for the program, Career Development Services will act as the liaison between you and the departments that have open positions. If you’re interested in off-campus positions, those will be posted in Peirce Link under work study.

If you're selected for a work study position, I’ll meet with you one-on-one to go over the work study handbook, which covers expectations on the worksite, how to complete a timesheet, professional skills, how to dress for the office, and so on. It might seem silly, but understanding how an office operates, what will be expected of you, and what the appropriate way is to interact with your manager before you start will help smooth the transition into your new position.

Think your resume needs work? Then contact Career Development Services and schedule an appointment to review it. E-mail the work study department to learn more about the program, or call me at 888.GO.PEIRCE, ext. 9202. In the coming weeks, we’ll be posting what some students have to say about the role their work study experience has played in their education at Peirce, so be sure to check back!