Posted: August 19, 2014, Last Updated: August 18, 2014
By Sarah, a Patriot Blogger
Hey guys, Sarah here! I recently wrote a guest article called “What to Expect at Mason Orientation” and I’m pleased to say that I’ve now become an official Patriot Blogger. Fun times.
So, let’s talk about jobs. There’s no way around it – college is expensive. Many students try to work part-time in school to offset some of the expenses, and I’m one of the lucky ones who managed to snag a great on-campus job. Several people have asked me about how I got an on-campus job, and it’s true that it is a bit competitive. But it’s not super difficult, as long as you’re determined and know a few tricks to up your chances.
So I feel like this one is pretty straightforward, but I end up editing a lot of friends’ resumes to make them more streamlined. The goal is to have all of your work experience listed in the most concise, compact format possible (ideally, your resume would be one page). Mason offers all sorts of student jobs, but desk jobs are the most common (Mason has a million offices). It’s a good idea tailor your resume to showcase any sort of administrative or secretary experience.
There are two main sites that most Mason students use. HireMason (https://gmu-csm.symplicity.com/) is the primary site that students are referred to while job hunting. After you create your profile, HireMason will send you email updates matching you up with jobs and internships you qualify for. You can search for both on and off campus jobs and narrow down your search in several other ways. You can also upload different resumes and cover letters and choose which ones you would like to send to each application. Another site I used while job hunting is Jobs at GMU (https://jobs.gmu.edu/). This site was a little more user friendly in my opinion, and also gave me the option of uploading multiple resumes tailored individually toward the different jobs I applied for. Check both of them out and get your resumes out there!
Visiting in person is always a good idea. Many of the Mason offices I visited while job hunting thanked me but referred me to apply online (a pretty standard response). But occasionally, you show up on that one lucky day when there happens to be an opening and they interview you on the spot because they don’t necessarily want to sift through hundreds of online applications. So, in my opinion, it’s worth the time to try to apply in person.
This is another obvious one. Try to connect with professors and other faculty members and tell your friends that you’re looking for work. Your friends will tip you off if there are openings at their jobs, and your professors are often more than happy to write recommendations for you.
It can be hard to find time to hunt for jobs during all the craziness that comes along with classes, homework, and the rest of college life, so the sooner you start, the better! If you’re an incoming freshman for the fall, I recommend writing up your resumes and creating your HireMason profile this summer. And don’t be discouraged if you don’t have any luck initially. It’s true that the most popular time to hire student workers is at the beginning of each semester, but openings still appear throughout the year. Just keeping inquiring around and you’re bound to stumble upon something!
Special note for freshmen:
You’re in luck. Mason offices LOVE to hire freshmen. Here’s why: the training process can be pretty long for some of these jobs, and a lot of employers don’t want to keep training new people. So it makes sense that a first-year student would be an appealing employee – in most cases, they’ll be here for four years. This isn’t to say that upperclassmen don’t get on-campus jobs. This is just reassurance to freshmen that even if you don’t have a whole lot of job experience, there are plenty of other reasons for you to be considered for hiring, and your newness is one of them.
I work as part of the Welcome Team in the Office of Admissions and I can’t tell you how great it is to have an on-campus job here at Mason. Not only do I have a reliable source of income throughout the school year (and summer), but I’ve become much more confident and knowledgeable since I communicate directly with applicants and visitors. Many of the people who visit our office are high school students, incoming freshmen, and international students. My job can sometimes be confusing, but it’s also the most rewarding feeling in the world when students come for a tour and info session, ask about my personal experience as a Patriot, and then come back months later to say hi and that they’ve been accepted.
Moments like that make it totally worth it to have a job alongside homework and the rest of college life. But enough about me. Go get that Mason job.
Read more posts by Sarah
Posted: August 18, 2014
By Luisa, a guest blogger
So you’re moving into college, away from home. Gone are the days of readily available housekeeping services (a.k.a. mom and dad) and provided furniture. You are moving into a new living space, a space that provides, at most, a bed, a desk, and a closet, which means packing a TON of stuff. So where do you begin? Here are things you should be sure to pack…and some stuff you should leave behind.
- Sleeping: Sheets (twin extra-long fit on Mason beds), pillows, blankets, and an alarm clock!
- Study stuff: backpack, school supplies, scissors, post-it notes; whatever you need to stay organized in classes
- Hygiene: Toothbrush, toothpaste, all that stuff you use on a regular basis. Shower shoes are also a great idea, because now you are dealing with community showers.
- Cleanliness: Tissues, laundry detergent, iron, lint roller: all important for keeping you and your room clean and tidy.
- Fun stuff: sporting equipment, ipods, cameras, computers, speakers, everything you need to keep yourself happy and entertained!
- Decorations for the room: posters, special lighting, pictures, anything to help personalize your living space
- Coordinate with your roommate: you don’t want to deal with two fridges, two TVs, two ironing boards, etc. Space is limited, so save as much as you can by splitting the larger things between the two of you.
- Look online for floor plans of your dorm room at http://housing.gmu.edu/halls/
- Make a list of all the stuff you use on a day-to-day basis, and use that as your primary packing point.
- Start packing before the night before, or you WILL NOT FINISH!
Want specifics on what to pack? Check out these helpful sites online, or just Google “What to pack for college”
- George Mason Packing List: http://admissions.gmu.edu/documents/moveInChecklist.pdf
Finally, if you do forget something, there’s always a Target and a Walmart nearby.
See you soon, and happy packing!
Read more posts by Amanda Guerin
Posted: June 18, 2014
Congratulations on your decision to become a Patriot at George Mason University!
My name is Sarah and I’m a sophomore here at Mason. We’ve been getting a lot of questions from incoming freshmen about their summer orientations. Here’s what you need to know!
Orientation Schedule – At orientation, you will be assigned to a group with other new students and a Patriot Leader, who will be your guide during Orientation. Your visit will involve games, campus tours, various information sessions, special events and entertainment, academic advising, and more. You’ll spend most of the visit with your group, but for a couple hours you will split off into different departments and schools for specialized sessions followed by advising by major. Class sign-ups typically happen on the second day before you leave. You will also get your Mason ID card if you haven’t already.
Academic Advising – During your orientation, you will meet with an advisor from the department of your program of study. You’ll go over a general overview of which classes you need to take for your major and an outline of when students generally take them. To view what kinds of courses are required for each major, visit this link: http://advising.gmu.edu/current-student/majors-at-mason/
Class Registration – Don’t panic about signing up for classes! All students will register for classes DURING their orientation visit after they meet with academic advisors. You can also visit this link to view the courses and class times we offer: http://catalog.gmu.edu/content.php?catoid=19&navoid=4109
Immunization Records – Summer is a great time to visit the immunization office. This isn’t a part of your orientation process, but I personally suggest dealing with your immunizations records before you come in the fall (I stopped by the Immunization Office in Sub 1 as soon as I was released from my orientation). The deadline for incoming freshmen to submit your records is October 1st. For more info, visit http://shs.gmu.edu/immunizations/
Placement Tests – Different majors have different math requirements, so students are recommended to take a placement test before signing up for math classes. Placement testing is offered during freshmen orientation. There are also language proficiency tests offered during orientation. Many B.A. degrees require foreign language proficiency at the intermediate level. If you have studied a language in-depth before coming to Mason, you can take a language test to place out and get credit. For info on test dates, visit: http://orientation.gmu.edu/placement-testing/
Visit the website. All the information you could ever want can be found online – you just have to put in the time and effort to locate it. J
Carefully read the emails that Mason sends you. I work with a lot of Mason freshmen, and many of them ask for information that has actually already been sent to them via email. These messages contain important details, dates, and deadlines, and knowing what to expect will save you from a lot of confusion later!
Memorize your G# now. Trust me, it’s a good idea. You will use this number for everything while at Mason.
Do your research. Know what questions you want to ask before you arrive, and write them down.
Prepare in advance. I visited the website ahead of time and planned out my entire class schedule – right down to the course numbers, class times, and professors – weeks before my orientation (yeah, I know, I’m an overachiever). You don’t have to go to that extreme, but it was great to be able to sit down in the computer lab with all the other incoming freshmen and immediately sign up for the exact classes I wanted. I was the first one to finish.
Be self-sufficient. I can’t stress this enough – you need to be willing to do independent research. Our advisors can give you a lot of helpful information, but only you can decide what you want your major to be, and what career path you want to follow. You don’t have to know all the specifics right now, but know yourself better than anyone else, so be confident and capable of making your own decisions!
Get involved with something you love. Sure, it’s a great idea to knock out your gen-eds early on in your college career, but you’ll have a much better freshmen year if you also leave time in your schedule to do something you’re passionate about. Student government, intermural sports, religious groups, vocal ensembles – you name it, we’ve got it. And on the chance that we don’t, start your own club!
Have fun! Mason is filled with kind, driven, and diverse people. Orientation is a great time to make connections, so be outgoing and introduce yourself! I met two of my closest friends at my orientation, and I know that we’ll still be in touch long after we’ve graduated. And that’s pretty awesome.
Congrats on becoming a Patriot! See you in the fall, and have a fantastic orientation.
Read more posts by Amanda Guerin