What will student jobs look like in the fall?

Two student employees work at the Candy Counter in the BYU Store. Jobs at the Wilkinson Student Center are among the student jobs available this fall. (Hannah Miner)

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BYU student jobs this fall will look different than past semesters. On-campus jobs will require face masks and other safety precautions, while some jobs will allow students to work remotely or a mix of remote and on-campus.

BYU Student Employment Office Manager Jenifer Jarvis said she doesn’t have specific numbers on how many student jobs will offer remote work in the fall since that decision falls to each department; however, she anticipates they are moving forward with their plans and “utilizing student employees both remotely and in-person.”

“Some jobs can be done both remotely and in-person, and some jobs are in-person only. It varies widely by department and by the specific position,” she said. “Our experience since last March has shown us that some jobs can be modified for remote work. It is up to each department to make that determination.”

Even though the COVID-19 pandemic forced many students to return home earlier this year, Jarvis noted there was still a large number of student employees this summer.

“During Summer Term 2020, we had roughly 9,000 student employees versus 9,800 in 2019,” Jarvis said. “So BYU was able to continue employing many students during the pandemic, both remotely and in-person.”

Last year BYU employed 15,500 students, according to Jarvis. That’s almost half of BYU’s total student enrollment of 33,511.

Though BYU has a vast number of student employees, Jarvis said over the past several years, about 1,000 student jobs per semester have not been filled, so plenty of jobs should be available this fall.

“I am optimistic that there will be employment available for those students who are available, willing to work and flexible about their work opportunities,” she said.

Still, working on campus this fall will be a different experience for some student employees.

Emi Workman, a second-year elementary education major, has been working at Jamba Juice on campus this summer and will continue to do so in the fall.

Workman said she is required to wear a mask and gloves and wash her hands every 20 minutes. “There is a supervisor that walks around and makes sure everyone is constantly washing their hands,” she said.

Though several jobs are allowing students to work remotely, Workman said she’s not too concerned about being required to work on campus because of the required safety precautions.

“I feel like the interaction with customers is limited,” she said. “Only the person on the register talks to the customer and even then there is a shield of protection kind of thing between them and the customer.”

However, come Thanksgiving when BYU goes fully online, she doesn’t know what will happen with her job.

“It’s not a job I can do remotely, so I’m worried about that. I haven’t received any notices about what will happen or what the plan is. I don’t even know if I’ll be working still or not.”

Senior Mickey Randle, who has been working as a TA for BYU Online, said not much will change for her job come Fall Semester since she has already been working remotely, other than not holding in-person office hours anymore.

“I would have office hours in (the Harmon Building), I would meet students in there, but now I don’t think that will be a requirement anymore,” she said. “I do it all remotely.”

Randle said since there’s a significant influx of students taking online classes, BYU Online has been hiring more teaching assistants. She’s a TA for an intro to film online class and said they’re adding around 12 more TAs just for the film classes.

“It’s kind of an unprecedented amount of people needing to use BYU Online,” Randle said.

And it may be an unprecedented semester for all BYU student employees.

Students can find job listings at studentjobs.byu.edu.

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