By Madelyn Sugg, Business Communications Major at Arizona State University and Employee at Education at Work
As a senior, my last year of college is one of the busiest times in my entire academic career. This brings challenges that are all too familiar to every college student: a calendar full of studying, homework, existential crises and numerous social engagements. Thankfully, I’m able to keep it all together and have a great work-life balance because I found a job that enables me to succeed inside and outside of the classroom.
With a packed schedule, I need all the free time I can get. However, there is one sacrifice I just cannot make, my paycheck. Loans simply cannot handle the full weight of my college expenses on their own, and I want to minimize the amount I take out. Today, student loan debt in the United States is more than 1.5 trillion dollars, and I am not looking to add to that amount if I can help it.
Consequently, employed college students like myself search for that sweet balance between working ourselves to the bone and getting our desired grades. While school comes first to many of us, it can be hard to focus on higher education while working a part-time job because you have to find a job with a company that cares about you and your educational aspirations.
Enter Education at Work (EAW), a nonprofit that partners with Fortune 500 companies to set up student-focused customer service centers. I’ve been working at EAW for almost two years and I’ve had every possible configuration of a student work schedule. Currently, I work exclusively on the days that I don’t have class, but in the past I've chosen to work short shifts between my classes, which is easy to do because EAW is located next to ASU Tempe campus. My schedule stays consistent every week, and I have the opportunity to update my work schedule around my new class schedule each semester. Semester-long consistency makes it easy to routinely schedule ample time for homework.
Work schedules that flex with students’ class times are not all that EAW has to offer. Students may also earn up to $5,250 dollars in tuition assistance each year. With that kind of financial package to alleviate academic expenses, students will have more room in their budget for one of those motorized longboards.
Madelyn Sugg, a business communications major at Arizona State, has been employed with Education at Work since May of 2018 and has earned $2,625 in tuition assistance. Want to work with Education at Work? Apply here.