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English Language Institute

3 Tips for a Successful On-Campus Job Search

If you visit Pace University in New York one topic of conversation you will often hear in the hallways is internships and jobs.  Most students may not realize that there may be a job available for you right on-campus! 

While studying in the United States you may be able to work on-campus* to improve your professional skills and gain confidence in speaking English.  I personally have interviewed hundreds of students over the years while working in Admissions at the English Language Institute and can immediately tell a student who is prepared versus unprepared.  If you think submitting an application is enough, you’re wrong! 

Whether you are in the U.S. for undergraduate, graduate, or to learn English, below are 3 tips I want to share with you for a successful on-campus job search.


#1 Ask an Advisor for Help

woman frustrated at lap top because she needs tips for successful on campus job search to ask advisor for helpPlease, please, please do this before you start applying to positions on-campus! 

There are plenty of people at your school to help you find an appropriate job.  I stress the word appropriate because sometimes students accidentally apply to very specific jobs they don’t quite understand.  Job titles such as “manager” or “assistant” have different levels of responsibility throughout the world and you want to be sure that you are applying to a position that is meant for students.  Also, some positions may be for students in specific majors because they are tutoring or helping with research. 

An academic advisor or career services advisor can help you narrow down the long list of jobs on campus to a few that may be perfect for you! 

I work with non-native English speakers who are still learning English here at Pace University.  We are often able to find an on-campus job at the library, fitness center, or computer center for them.  These are great places for international students to meet other students, make friends, and improve their language skills.


#2 Relax Before your Interview

student relaxing before interview to help get an on campus job in the usInterviewing is stressful for even the most experienced professional.  You don’t want your nerves to get the best of you during your interview. 

Remember that the purpose of an interview is to get to know a candidate better and see if they are a good fit for the team.  If you’re too nervous or shy to answer the questions the hiring manager may not feel like they know much about you. 

Listen to calming music, meditate, or even read before you arrive at the interview.  Most smartphones now have mobile apps to help you focus on your breathing which can be another way to relax.  It will help clear your thoughts and lower your anxiety.  I love ice cream so before I interview I always have my favorite ice cream – chocolate! 


#3 Dress for Success

business shirt for job interview needed to get an on campus job in the united statesDepending on your culture you may have an idea of how you should dress for a job interview.  While applying to a student job on-campus, you want to remember that how you dress is part of the first impression you give to a hiring manager. 

You most likely will not need to be in a men’s 3 piece suit or women’s blazer, but, you will want to be as we in America call “presentable”.  I remember within one hour I interviewed two students: one interviewed in their gym workout clothes and the other in a long sleeve shirt and pants.  You don’t want the clothes to leave more of an impression than your personality or interview. 

You can check out this great list of tips from Pace University’s Career Services office on suggested interviewing attire.  For an on-campus job, you’re safe with the “Business Casual Daily Work Attire” section.

*All students should consult with an advisor, their careers services office, or international students office, to determine work eligibility.


Come to New York to study English: visit the ELI websitecontact the ELI , or apply here.

Read more tips for studying in the United States here.


Word List:

  • get the best of you (idiom): to defeat someone or gain an advantage over them.

WRITTEN BY DANIEL LENKOWSKY