Graphic that says COVID on College campuses
Graphic by Bell Jackson

Job hunting has gotten a whole lot different with COVID-19 around. Many people have lost jobs due to new restrictions and have filed for unemployment.  

Mark Bolton, the manager of student employment at UM, provided statistics for the change in student employment between the 2019-2020 school year and the 2020-2021 school year. He says that from Sep. 3, 2019, there were approximately 259 students on the payroll, compared to the recent payroll done on Sep. 4, 2020 that had approximately 198 students on the payroll. 

This means that there was a 24% decrease in student employees since the start of the school year. However, Bolton mentioned that since Aug. 30, there have been an additional 35 work authorizations sent out to students. Once these pay deposits have been made, there will only be a 10% decrease since 2019. 

There were some positions that were not able to be re-filled due to the restrictions of COVID-19.   

But there is still hope for those still on the hunt for their work opportunities. Some departments did not lower the number of workers they can have, but instead have increased their hiring because of additional needs for COVID-19.  

Not only that, Bolton stated, “We currently have multiple openings for work study and job ship positions and students are encouraged to engage in the application process.” 

Students can visit https://jobs.montevallo.edu to find the applications and more information on these work opportunities. 

“I don’t think COVID-19 makes students more hesitant to apply for jobs on campus,” said Bolton, “If anything, working on campus allows students to remain in a more restricted environment with less exposure to the general public compared to those working off-campus.” 

Anna Blanchard, a Tutwiler Hall RA, also had some thoughts on the changes to her job due to COVID-19.  

“It has definitely made it different, because there is a lot more regulations within the halls. You can’t have outside visitation and you have to wear masks.” Blanchard said, “There is definitely a lot more rule enforcement versus having programs and meeting your residents face-to-face.”  

While work experiences change, so does the environment of the campus. Sometimes the feeling of security can change as well. How safe do student workers feel with the regulations the university has put in place?  

According to Blanchard, she feels safe with how the university is handling the pandemic; however, she feels that it is mostly up to everyone on campus to follow those guidelines to help keep everyone on campus safe.