Campus Employment

Hello, Class of 2017! My name is Sean Pethybridge, and I’m a member of the Class of 2015. I’m majoring in History and Italian Studies, and for the past two months or so I’ve been the summer intern at the College’s Center for Career Development, which offers programs and opportunities that prepare students for post-college success. The Center for Career Development also happens to be the home of Student Employment Services, which is the administrative nerve-center of student jobs. By this point in the summer you’ve probably wondered about work-study, debated waiting a semester before finding a job, and maybe even created your GettysburgWorks account. While I can’t tell you where or when you should work, I can tell you that Student Employment Services is here to help. I can also tell you what I’ve observed while working on campus, which I hope you’ll find helpful as you consider your opportunities for employment at Gettysburg College.

Observation number 1: Not all jobs look the same!

Before arriving on campus, I was convinced I would find a job in either the Library or Servo. These two institutions seemed my most viable options for employment because I could more easily imagine students working in a library or dining center than in, say, IT. I had no clue that campus jobs are numerous and can be found in departments across the college. So two years after my initial arrival on campus, I have friends who work in the Library and Servo, but I also have friends who have held positions at the Athletics Center, IT, and even the President’s Office. Their responsibilities have included everything from performing administrative duties to managing social media content. My own experiences have been similarly varied; I’ve worked as a translator, a tutor, a farm assistant, a gallery attendant, and an office intern. So look around! You’re sure to stumble across an opportunity that matches your needs, interests, and working style.

Sean is interning in the Center for Career Development this summer.

Sean is interning in the Center for Career Development this summer.

Observation Number 2: Embrace the unforeseen.

It’s also possible that your job search will take some unforeseen twists. Jobs tend to crop up in unexpected ways, and my own experiences have indicated that it’s best to run with them if possible. My first unexpected opportunity arose at the end of my first semester. I wasn’t yet employed when I received an email from a professor about research assistance. Professors often enlist students to help with research, so this wasn’t too surprising. What did surprise me was that the email came from a professor of Biology. As a student of the humanities, you can imagine my confusion. As it turns out, this particular professor needed assistance with some Italian translations for her research on historical representations of the natural world. This coincided beautifully with my own academic interests, so I said yes to the request and started translating passages about 16th century museums and frescoes. In doing so, I expanded my Italian vocabulary and strengthened my translation skills. Declining to take this offer would have been much easier than slogging through pages of Renaissance Italian prose, but it also would have meant missing out on an incredible learning experience.

Observation Number 3: Consider Gettysburg in the summer.

I live at the Jersey Shore, and while life on a barrier island has its upsides, I don’t consider the area’s shortage of resume-worthy summer jobs to be among them. For this reason, I’ve spent the last two summers in Gettysburg. Around February of my first year I decided to try my hand at farming, so I applied (and was accepted) for a position as one of Painted Turtle Farm’s summer interns.  I ended up taking the position, and I’m beyond happy I did because that summer turned out to be an incredibly formative experience.  This summer, I’m performing office duties instead of pulling weeds. Sure I’ve missed being outside all day, but my job at the Center for Career Development has given me an entirely new set of skills. I have improved my office etiquette, beefed up my knowledge of Microsoft Excel, and realized that I need to further develop my time management skills. Outside of the office, these past two summers have afforded me the opportunity to delve deeper into the town and its environment. Believe it or not, Gettysburg and the surrounding area have much more to offer than just the battlefields; I’ve heard live music countless times, visited some incredible state parks, worked on several farms, explored D.C., been to a roller derby, gone to a free film festival, and have generally had the most amazing summers of my life. So if your hometown doesn’t offer much by way of jobs, or if you’re looking to expand your skill set, I’d definitely recommend staying in Gettysburg for the summer months.

Last summer Sean worked on campus at the Painted Turtle Farm.

Last summer Sean worked on campus at the Painted Turtle Farm.

Your first year can be a stressful time, but it’s also the start of what will be some of the most amazing years of your life. Don’t add to the stress by worrying about where, when, or how you’ll find employment on campus; instead, remember that your employment opportunities at the college are diverse, can appear unexpectedly, and aren’t limited to the academic year. And as you progress through the coming semesters, realize that the positions you have at Gettysburg College are so much more than just jobs you held while an undergraduate. They have the capacity to prepare you for post-Gettysburg success. They can help you become a better researcher, like my job as a translator, or they can help you develop office etiquette skills, like my job at the Center for Career Development. They can even help you become a more independent person, like my job at Painted Turtle Farm.  So welcome to Gettysburg College. Work hard, learn more than you ever thought possible, and enjoy your time here.

-Sean

Each quad of first-year residence halls has a Residence Life Coordinator who is there to answer questions, provide support, and make sure you have a great experience during your first year.  West Quad–Stine, Paul, and Rice Halls–are led by Erin Duran, and East Quad–Patrick, Hanson, and Huber Halls–will be headed by Keywuan Caulk.  Be sure to introduce yourself when you see them during Orientation!

Erin Duran

Keywuan Caulk

Charting Your Course!

Every year, first-year students have an extended orientation program that reiterates everything they learned during their 5 day orientation. This year’s program is called Charting Your Course, or CYC for short, and is focused on helping first-years think more broadly about their four year experience at Gettysburg College. Throughout your first semester, you will attend certain departmental sessions, called Maximizing Gettysburg sessions, that will give you invaluable tools and insight into the college experience, both in and out of the classroom. These sessions will be centered around upperclass student panels who will give accounts of their experience within a specific department. For example, in the Off-Campus Studies Maximizing Gettysburg session, a student who has studied abroad will give an account of his/her experience and will relate their experience abroad to their overall college experience. These panels are designed to be more interactive and less lecture based, so at the very least you will be getting great advice from great students. A few days after you arrive to campus, you will be getting a pamphlet with a little more about CYC, and it will also contain your building’s CYC schedule throughout the first semester. So until that time, there’s no need to worry about CYC. Just enjoy the last few days of your summer, and enjoy orientation when you arrive!

Celebrate Diversity

The Diversity Peer Educators is small group of passionate students who work toward the goal of an inclusive campus community, educating and advocating for issues of diversity and inclusion to create a learning environment that celebrates diversity.  Three DPEs share their experiences below.  For more information, check out the website, like them on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter!

Hello, my name is Monae Evans and I am a junior from Philadelphia, PA, majoring in Political Science and International Affairs. The most challenging part about my first year was adapting to the campus environment, which I found extremely difficult considering that I am a minority student from a big city. It was a huge culture shock for me to attend classes and walk around a campus where there are not many people who look like me that I could identify with. This is what motivated me to join the Diversity Peer Educators here at Gettysburg College and influence social change. Our mission is to contribute to the goal of an inclusive campus community by educating and advocating for issues of diversity and inclusion among our peers by helping to create a learning environment that celebrates diversity! Even though we were only established last fall, we have made some significant strides on campus. This past spring we’ve had the opportunity to facilitate many insightful discussions surrounding issues of diversity with a variety of student groups. We were also able to have a Potluck this past semester that provided students with various dishes from a wide array of cultures! So, as you can see, being a Diversity Peer Educator is not only a great way to get involved on campus, but a terrific way for you to learn more about your peers and embrace the differences you observe within everyone you meet on campus and throughout your future endeavors.

-Monae

The Diversity Peer Educators and the participants of the Social Justice Institute, held Spring 2013

The Diversity Peer Educators and the participants of the Social Justice Institute, held Spring 2013

My name is Erin O’Connor and I am a junior from Western New York.  I have a self-designed individual major entitled “Diversity and Development in Education” and a minor in Peace and Justice Studies.  On campus I am involved with the Sunderman Conservatory, playing French horn in the Wind Symphony and singing in the College Choir.  I also work as an administrative assistant for the Band Office.

With the help from our amazing advisors, we received training on diversity and strategies to facilitating small group discussions on issues such as racism, sexism, homophobia, classism and privilege.  During our first year, we successfully launched several programs, bringing together the entire campus community, including President Janet Morgan Riggs, shown below signing the pledge!  These programs included DPE Week, promoting diversity and challenging the campus community to sign the pledge to contribute to an inclusive campus community, the Social Justice Institute, and Privilege and Potluck.  At these events and others in residence halls, DPE encourages others to participate in different activities and games that help individuals to reflect on their lives and role in contributing to an inclusive environment.

Being a Diversity Peer Educator is an extremely rewarding experience.  Just in the first year, I have learned a great deal about myself, the privileges I have, and the challenges and disadvantages many still face on a day to day basis.  DPE has helped me grow so much, especially becoming more confident in leading others in discussions on such sensitive topics.

-Erin

President Riggs signing the diversity pledge.

President Riggs signing the diversity pledge.

I’m Rex, a senior from Philadelphia, PA with an Individual major and a Health Sciences minor.  When I came to Gettysburg as a first-year, I soon realized I was the only Cambodian student, as well as one of the few Asian students. Initially this did not bother me but it became a problem when I got mistaken for an International Student, when none of my friends were able to relate to me when discussed with my friends my family cultural practices, and when only a few people knew where Cambodia is. I realized that I was ethnically-different and was very dissimilar to my majority-white classmates.

I started having thoughts of either transferring to another school that had a greater Asian population or giving up my Cambodian identity for the sake of assimilating into the dominant culture I was in. After a lot of discussion with my family and Gettysburg staff, I made my final decision – to accept the person that I am.

I began to be involved in diversity projects both on campus and off.  When I studied abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark, in the fall of 2012, I joined the Diversity Committee sponsored by my study abroad program.  When I returned to Gettysburg, I became the Programming Chair of the Diversity Peer Educators.

Throughout the semester, the question I constantly asked myself was, “How can I encourage others to accept and promote diversity?” Gettysburg College students comes from an array of backgrounds and carry many different unique experiences.  As a Diversity Peer Educator, I have the privilege to make it a point that diversity is important. While race and ethnicity seem to come mind when it comes to diversity, there are so many other factors to consider. Sexual orientation, gender, physical disability, religion and socioeconomic status are factors to consider when discussing diversity and each have its own story to tell. Diversity is more than the color of our skin, it’s the beliefs we hold, the experiences we had, our lifestyle – it’s everything around us.

-Rex

DPEs with the diversity pledge.  Erin is first row, far right.  Monae second row, third from left; Rex second row, fourth from left.

DPEs with the diversity pledge. Erin is first row, far right. Monae second row, third from left; Rex second row, fourth from left.

 

Academic Success

Everyone’s excited to come to college to make new friends, gain independence, and have some fun, but let’s face it—the real reason you’re going to college is to get an education.  And taking classes means that at some point during your four years here you will have to do some studying.  College academics can be a big change from high school, so you should expect some transition time as you adjust to the extra rigor and expectations.  To help with that transition, First Year Staff members have offered their best study tips.

  1. Find a study spot that works for you.  The library is a great place to study, but don’t be afraid to branch out.  Try the academic buildings (like the Science Center or Breidenbaugh—both are open 24 hours), the Commons and the Junction in the CUB, or even your residence hall’s common room!  Looking for a computer?  Computer labs are located in the library, McCreary, and Plank.
  2. Know your best study style.  Matt says that he likes to study alone most of the time but studying in groups can also be helpful.  Dina writes, “I like to listen to music . . . so I always have my computer with me to play internet radio stations.”  Kyra suggests setting a schedule for yourself: “For example, if it is a Friday and you want to go out, make a checklist of a significant amount of homework that you want to get done and do that before you allow yourself to go out.  During the week, if there is a television show you want to watch or if you want to play Candy Crush on Facebook, do 30 minutes of homework, 10 minutes of play, and repeat that cycle.”
  3. Use your resources.  Don’t be shy—professors and PLAs have office hours each week if you are looking for extra clarification on a paper prompt or math problem, and they’re always willing to help.  Corinne says that “the reference librarians are absolutely fantastic when I need help with research or with citing my papers,” and Nicole takes her papers to the Writing Center for some peer-editing and idea brainstorming.

Classes start August 26th, so it will soon be time to jump right into study mode.  Find your favorite study spot on campus and don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it—soon you will be on your way to academic success!

Coping with Homesickness

Hi! My name is Emily Wasson, and I’m a sophomore at Gettysburg College.  This year I declared biology as my major. By the time I graduate in 2016, I hope to also have completed a business minor as well. This year I became actively involved with Colleges Against Cancer, played on an intramural floor hockey team and became a brother of Alpha Phi Omega, the coed service fraternity on campus. In the fall, I will start training to be an official tour guide for the college. I am so excited to meet the incoming first-year students and I cannot wait to be back on campus again!

I never imagined how quickly the summer after my senior year would fly by. I often joked with my family and friends that one day we would all blink, and I would be in the car driving to Gettysburg, my dream school. Well, one day I blinked and there I was in the back of a loaded down van pulling up to campus. I just remember feeling so much emotion in such a short period of time. I was excited to be independent. However, a sadder part of me knew how difficult this transition would be, not only for me, but for my family too.

Before we knew it, we were saying our goodbyes. I remember trying so hard to fight back tears. And the next thing I knew I was standing on the sidewalk by myself, waving goodbye to my family, the people that had been with me for eighteen years. Suddenly, they were no longer there and I felt free. Except, I never thought the feeling of independence would be so heavy on my heart.

Despite all of the emotional turmoil I was facing, orientation week gave me no time to think about how much I missed home. The college knows how difficult this time is for students to go through and they make sure to keep you busy, very busy. Looking back on the experience, I would probably say this week would have been the most difficult to cope with homesickness. However, the college does such an amazing job keeping the students engaged and really tries to make them feel at home.

The best advice I can give to a student that feels homesick at college is to try to get involved in something you are passionate about. I found that volunteering at the homeless shelter a few blocks off campus was a way I could cope with my homesickness. Every Sunday, we took the kids that stayed at the shelter to the park.  It was a great way to get my mind off of school, work and home and to give back to the community. This opportunity prevented me from spending too much time dwelling on everything I was missing at home, and it gave me an excuse to get out of my dorm room and meet new people.

Come September, college will start to feel overwhelming. You just have to surround yourself with the right people. Try to find friends that motivate you to do things outside of your comfort zone. Start an intramural team, become a student officer or test your fear of heights and climb the rock wall in the gym. The more involved you are, the less homesick you will feel. Before you know it, you are going to blink and the school year will be over. Make the most of your time at Gettysburg; it goes by faster than you think.

-Emily

During her first year, Emily found a new home at Gettysburg with her friends and lots of campus involvement.

During her first year, Emily found a new home at Gettysburg with her friends and lots of campus involvement.

Don’t forGett!

It can be quite overwhelming packing for the next four years of your life. That’s why Residence Life has provided a list of items you should bring with you when moving in to Gettysburg, and that is why we have asked a few Resident Assistants and Orientation Leaders what they wish they brought with them. These items might be things that you are not thinking about, so hopefully they help alleviate some confusion and remind you to bring everything you need!

Matt Dunworth said the one thing that he should have brought that he didn’t was a trunk. “Since you can loft your bed, there is a lot of room for under-bed storage and a trunk would have been a huge help. It would have also been good for packing and for traveling.”

Dina Mohamed-Aly said that when she and her first-year roommate were moving into their dorm, they coordinated things that they could share in the room and each brought a few of the items they needed, but that there were still some things she wishes she had brought. These items include: a pitcher that you can put water or juice in, a hot pot for boiling water, a mug (or two or three!), portable coffee mug or thermos, a shower caddy, a toothbrush holder, a big bowl for popcorn or snacks, and eating utensils.

Janine Barr said, “Definitely pack a drying rack!  I know it sounds silly and it may be bulky, but it definitely helped with laundry and the occasional wet clothing from those drizzly days at Gettysburg.  (On that note, I’d definitely invest in rain boots and a rain jacket too!)” Kyra McFadden said she should have packed more notebooks. Additionally, she said to have a bulk of cleaning supplies, laundry essentials and tape, school supplies, and bins.  Nicole Lopez suggested bringing a fan for the first few weeks of school that tend to be a little warmer, especially if your residence hall doesn’t have air conditioning.  Kyra also noted that you will not need to buy a planner because you will be given a planner during Orientation!

Peter Rosenberger definitely recommends bringing command hooks.  He said,  “They can be used to hang more things than you’d expect, and they can be great organizers for items you wouldn’t usually hang up.”  He also recommends shower shoes, a shower caddie, extra pillows for comfort (especially if you like to read in bed), and a printer.  Even though there are many free printing stations on campus, it is often more convenient to print in your own room especially if you are in a hurry.

In addition to things you will need, the RAs and OLs also noted some things that they didn’t find necessary in their residence halls.  They indicated that cooking supplies won’t be useful since you have unlimited access to servo.  Disposable water bottles would be wasteful as well. You can bring your own reusable water bottle or use the one that you will get on move-in day, courtesy of the sustainability efforts at Gettysburg College.  The library and Servo also have hydration stations where you can fill up your water bottle at any time!

Well, there you have it! In addition to the list Residence Life has provided, hopefully the above items will help you to pack every dorm essential you will need for college. Happy packing!

-Scott