Applications for Student Employment Positions Increase as Demand for Vacation Jobs Rises

Competition for student employment at PA has been steadily rising due to an increase in applicants. Students are handing in their applications earlier and earlier as more look toward finding employment. The Human Resources Office offers many employment positions for students over the age of 16 during winter, spring, and summer breaks. “There aren’t that many jobs that go throughout the entire summer, so what we’re really offering is more short-term employment,” said the Director of Human Resources and Risk Management Deborah Martin. “Our student workers are really good workers. I always wish we had more jobs to offer.” According to Mrs. Martin, the student caller position has been one of the more popular jobs offered by the school. Fifteen current Phillips Academy students are hired for a few nights during the March and June breaks to call alumni to request donations. The school chooses some of the most successful students from the past as well as other students new to the job. Monetarily speaking, the student callers contribute a small percent of the total amount of donations received by the school. During the December vacation, the largest donations included two $5000 gifts. Overall, the students raised $80,000 in donations. According to Mrs. Martin, however, the student callers do much more than simply raise money for the school. They also help the school’s relations with the former Phillips Academy students while enhancing their connections to current students. “The goal is not the money but increased participation between the students and the alumni. It gives students the opportunity to learn how important non sibi is,” she said, “The alumni body loves to hear from students about their experiences. It makes the Academy very real and present for them…and the student involvement results in more alumni participation and giving.” The school also offers employment to students interested in giving tours to prospective students during the winter break. The Admissions Office chooses their student workers based on their guiding abilities during the school year. “The tour guides that we hire over the breaks just do a terrific job giving applicants and their families a real sense of what it’s like to be here,” said Ms. Martin. Though she has been working as a tour guide for two years during the school year, Victoria Wilmarth ’09 first began working for the admissions office this past winter break. As a new working tour guide, she received $8.50 per hour. The working day began at 8:30 in the morning and ended at about 3:30, with an hour for lunch in between. Each tour guide gave up to four tours a day. The tour guides not only took prospective students around the campus, but helped with other tasks in the admissions office, including sorting the mail and recycling the recyclable trash. “I really liked working in the admissions office because I met people that I normally would not have met,” Wilmarth said. She added, “I think PA is a really nice place to have your first job because it gives you good work experience. Everyone here is very friendly so it’s a nice work environment…They were pretty understanding employers.” Students may apply for other jobs during the breaks as well, including lifeguarding, cleaning up dorms and working as reunion clerks for the Office of Academic Resources. The Human Resources office has a more detailed list of other jobs for which students may apply. Because of students’ emphasis on academics, sports, clubs and community service, the school limits job offerings while school is in session. However, students in the past have worked as lifeguards, filed music in the music library and helped out in the photo labs. Work duty reduces the job availability as well. The Human Resources office strongly encourages students to apply for the jobs that the school offers. Mrs. Martin said, “I really do believe it’s wonderful to have students engaged in the operations of the school. It gives students a sense of what it takes to run a complicated institution like Phillips Academy and it gives adults on campus the chance to get to know the students better.” Wages range from $7.50 to $11.25 per hour, depending on the type of job. Jobs that require special certification, like lifeguarding, offer higher wages than those that do not.