Maynooth Uni on the benefits of student staff
Niamh Banks, of Maynooth University, explains how university accommodation providers can benefit from employing students
The image of poor students hovering over baked beans as they try to cut them in half to make them last longer may have changed to students hovering over their mobile phone, waiting for their parents to send them credit, but the concept of students needing money hasn’t changed. Throughout the years, and now more than ever, students are seeking employment during the course of their studies in order to help themselves financially. With the burden of student loans looming or parents at home tiring under the constant demands for funds, whether or not a student can find gainful employment is a factor many of them will consider when looking at where to live or study. There are many benefits to an educational institution or accommodation provider which can not only enhance the life of the student but also enhance the service provided to them.
The benefits to the student
From the student perspective, there are lots of great benefits for working with the institution or accommodation provider:
– Work is frequently close to either lectures or where they’re staying. This minimises the amount of time they spend travelling to and from work and gives them more time to study, or sleep!
– There is often a seasonal element to the work available which means the student doesn’t have to worry about losing their job when they go off on a J1 or study abroad. Those who work hard can line up work for themselves through multiple terms or semesters whilst still be able to enjoy summers off or find it easier to manage their academic workload.
– Regular work at irregular times: Not all students wanted guaranteed work every week so the sometimes irregular work hours, depending on need, can often suit them. A final year student might not want 20 hours a week but would be very happy with 10 hours randomly dotted throughout a month.
– Skills Development: There are many skills that students can gain from working part-time in a new environment.
– Time Management: The ability to balance their lecture and assignment schedule.
– Workplace Interactions and Demands: Learning how businesses work in the real world can be a great lesson for students before they graduate.
– Financial Responsibility: They say nothing is free and this also applies to students. If they have to work hard for their money, it will give them an appreciation of where money comes from and how hard it can be to make it.
‘Having students on your staff gives you access to trends, fads and genuine needs amongst the student population.’
The benefits to the company, institution, or accommodation provider
– They get to stay close to their customer. Students are the customers and clients of our businesses and keeping in touch with your customer base is a vital part of doing business. Business planning and growth will only be successful if those planning it, are in touch with those they are hoping to sell to. Whether it is increasing student numbers or selling beds, the customer must be kept in mind at all times.
– Technological Change: Students frequently embrace new technology with ease and find it easy to fold it into their life. Having students on staff who not only are completely at ease, but frequently on the cutting edge, can add huge benefits to any company.
– Diversity: The student body has a diverse make up and getting students involved in your business is a great way to make sure you have a more diverse, inclusive workforce.
– Student Recruitment Attraction: Students often look for employment opportunities when they are thinking of studying or living somewhere. Being able to show that potential opportunities can help them decide to go with you instead of someone, or somewhere else.
– Feedback and Feet on the Ground: Having students on your staff gives you access to trends, fads and genuine needs amongst the student population. Feedback is all-important in keeping your business healthy and profitable. Ignore students at your peril!
Niamh Banks is ASRA Communications and IT Officer and Residences Supervisor at Maynooth University.