UHV connects current students with employers

April 16, 2011 at 5:05 p.m.
Updated April 15, 2011 at 11:16 p.m.

University of Houston-Victoria is already accepting freshmen for the fall, and many of those will be looking for part-time work to help pay for the costs of attending college.

UHV Career Services has connected more than 100 eager students this school year with university departments and area employers looking for dependable, affordable part-time help.

Coordinator Eunice Mesa and specialist Amy Hatmaker are looking for even more employers as UHV prepares to accept new freshmen.

"We're anticipating more of a need and want to reach out to area employers from for-profit companies and nonprofits alike," Mesa said.

Hatmaker said hiring a university student can be a win-win situation.

"Employers can get a worker, and our students make good contacts and job references, and gain experience," she said. "For a lot of our employers, a student part timer works well for them."

While it isn't always possible to match student jobs to career interests, Hatmaker said some students have found employment in their fields, including a Web designer at a nonprofit and an accounting student who took a job with an area tax preparation business.

In some cases, job assistance is available for nonprofit businesses to hire students who show financial need. Many nonprofits have positions that would qualify for community service definitions under Federal Work Study Guidelines. Federal work-study funds also are available to some for-profit employers to supplement pay when a job aligns with a student's degree plan.

Career Services stays busy, particularly since UHV added freshmen and sophomores in fall 2010. Its part-time job fair each fall has produced good results for students and employers.

"Our vision is to eventually host an all-majors job fair or networking events," Mesa said.

She acknowledged that tough economic times have made employers wary about committing to a certain number of hires during job fairs.

"Employers don't know what's going to happen in relation to business," she said. "So we want to bring them to campus without that commitment since they are unsure of the job hiring outlook."

Hatmaker said students have performed well at their jobs, and working in the community helps them get involved and feel more connected to Victoria and surrounding areas.

"Our students who have jobs at the YMCA and the Victoria Regional Museum Association are considered a part of these groups' families," Hatmaker said. "There is a nice comfort level there, and the employers have become a good support system for our students."



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