Whether you're a college freshman or super senior, chances are you've been offered a position at your dining hall, or at least have friends who have worked there before. Now maybe you're like me and are immediately turned off by the thought of working in a dining hall. When I first came to college, I was adamant that I would never work in Miller (our campus dining hall). The thought of all the food waste and having to clean up after people didn't sit well with me. However, after realizing being a student security also wasn't all it was cracked up to be, I quickly reconsidered Miller as an option.
In the spring semester of my freshman year, I started working in my dining hall. I worked morning shifts before classes and usually washed pots/pans or made coffee. I got free breakfast before working and made myself lattes as I pleased. I also got to meet a lot of my fellow students and it was only a 2-hour shift every day. While I know there are other jobs that pay better with tips, the perk of the dining hall is it's an on-campus location. Especially as an on-campus resident, it was convenient, fun, and I learned how to become a barista. I didn't think I would work there again after freshman year, but once again, I was wrong.
This year, as a junior, I now live off campus and have a part-time job as a nanny. I absolutely love this job with my whole heart, but I realized I wanted to work a few extra hours a week for some spending money (ski season is almost here y'all). That's when I remembered my experience in the dining hall. I wasn't super stoked to return to on-campus working since I commute, but I have to be on campus every morning for class anyways. Once again, I am working morning shifts making coffee. I only work two hours a day, get a free meal, and see my friends from around campus. I also work with cool people; grad students trying to sell their house and move across the country, international residents who have traveled all over the world, and the nicest lady who just wants to learn how to make a mocha. I will get a decent paycheck this next week that can help me buy ski gear and pay rent, and overall it's a great gig for some extra money.
Before you trash on dining hall employees, think about the great perks of the job. If you're a student looking for a very flexible and part-time job, I highly recommend working at your campus dining hall. Whether you want to work 2 or 20 hours a week, working at the dining hall is a great way to earn some extra cash (and get free lunch too!). Who knows, it may end up being a great job experience and something you can stick on your resume!