Workin’ it

Remember when you were touring Columbia and the junior leading the tour talked about students could easily take six classes, do a work-study job to make some money, and get a prestigious internship—all in the same semester?

Have you actually thought about doing any of that since starting classes? Never fear: Bwog has a quick and easy guide to work-studying and interning.


So it’s a new school year, and along with new classes (and new friends?) you might have received a different financial aid package. And by different we mean worse. And by worse we mean work-study.

Work-study is a required job where students work all semester long to pay off a tiny portion of the debt they’ve accumulated. The bright side of this particular hell is that Columbia makes it very easy for students to find and acquire a job.

Columbia’s Student Financial Services website is surprisingly helpful, with multiple links explaining how to find a job, what forms are required, and other necessary information.

In case you only trust Momma Bwog, here are the basics:

1. Visit Columbia’s Federal Work Study website to look for jobs.

LionSHARE also has some work-study jobs, but they are not separated from non-work-study positions.

2. Upload a resume on the Federal Work Study site for the Student Financial Services. If you are not sure on how to make a resume/if this is your first time/jobhuntingvirgin, visit the Center for Career Education in person, or their website. They have some information on resume building that may or may not be useful. Make an attempt to tailor it for the particular job.

3. Apply to your job through the same website that you’ve been doing alllllll of this searching.

4. Wait.

5. Pray. If they have given you contact information, contact them to confirm that they have received your information. Otherwise, pray some more.

Woo! You got that job. You nailed that interview. You have a work-study position! Don’t forget to fill out the required forms!

Now, go work in Kent while all of your friends are enjoying the nice weather.


Want to take advantage of Columbia’s excellent location in New York? Go to LionSHARE, find an internship, and apply through the site.

Just be warned: most internships—especially those that want liberal arts students—don’t pay. Instead of money, they’ll offer “academic credit.” Many companies, in fact, will only accept you as an intern if you’re eligible to receive “academic credit” because they think this makes the internship legal. (They’re wrong, but try telling them that.)

So how do you get academic credit? At Columbia, this credit, called “R credit,” is basically meaningless. It’ll go on your transcript, but it won’t count toward your degree. All you have to do is print this form, fill it out, and give it your academic advisor.

But what if you actually want to paid for your unpaid internship? That’s where Columbia’s Work Exemption Program comes in. (Barnard has a similar program.) It’s basically a scholarship for students who are doing unpaid internships or volunteering. So you could volunteer at a community center, AND get paid. (Don’t call it volunteering though. You’re making bank).

Just apply through the CCE website and hope you get chosen. This application is due by next Wednesday, though, so get on it. Jump on it. Whatever.

werk werk werk via Shutterstock