Meet Kela M. From the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering!

Guest post by Alexandra Bessette. 


This week I chatted with Kela M, the office assistant for the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering! This pioneering research facility incorporates diverse disciplines to “discover, disseminate and apply new knowledge critical to understanding and mitigating the impact of the natural, built and social environments on human health.”

Johns Hopkins Environmental Health and Engineering,



Alex B.: How did you get started working in the office of Environmental Health and Engineering?

Kela M.: I applied for the position through the Job Search portal on the JHU Student Employment Services website. I was then asked to interview and got an email an hour after the initial interview offering me the position!


AB: What are your job responsibilities?

KM: I assist in the daily organization and filing of all projects and department data to ensure that the Senior Academic Coordinator (aka: my boss) has accurate records. I also perform administrative duties, such as communicating with the public telephonically, sending informative emails to the student body, and helping plan and facilitate department wide social events.


AB: What skills have you gained from this position?

KM: I’ve gained some obvious skills, like learning how to e-file, becoming comfortable with spreadsheets and spreadsheet data, and communicating with people both on the phone and in person, as well as some unexpected skills, like the best way to put tablecloths on a table so they look fancier, how to create 300 nametags in under an hour, and how to make copies in the most efficient way, including stapling and loading fancy paper.


AB: How does your experience in this position relate back to your academic interests and future goals?

KM: My experiences in this position have actually been great because when I first got the job, I had no idea what I wanted to do post-graduation, but I also was not giving it a lot of thought. Now, since I am immersed in a very motivated atmosphere every time I walk into the department, I have started thinking more seriously about my plans for graduate school, and even realize how much I enjoy working on a college campus around students. I’m not sure where this is going to take me yet, but at least I’m thinking more seriously than I was before!


AB: How has working shaped your Hopkins experience?

KM: Working has benefitted me so much since I have been at Hopkins, because not only have my hours given me a structure for doing homework, both when I have time at work, and before and after my shift, but I have also been able to afford most of my own expenses since I have been at school, such as textbooks, groceries, dinners with my friends, and just the general cost of living.


AB: How do you think your experience in this position will help you after you leave Hopkins?

KM: After I leave Hopkins, I am happy that I will be able to say that I have experience doing clerical and office work, and will have multiple points of contact, both from faculty and staff, for professional and personal references in the future.


AB: Do you have any advice for job-seeking students or younger student employees?

KM: My best advice would probably be to take advantage of any opportunity that your student employment offers you, such as networking with faculty, staff, and students, working extra summer or winter hours, or having opportunities to study and do homework, because the more you make yourself comfortable in your position, the happier you will be about having that position, and the better your experience will be!

The Art of the Thank You Note

Once you’ve completed an interview, you can’t always do much to boost your chances of getting a position. However, the one thing you can (and really should) do is email a thank you note to your interviewer within 24 hours of the interview.

From applying to all kinds of positions on- and off-campus to running this year’s student blogger recruitment process (welcome aboard!), I’m always pleasantly surprised by the impact that a simple thank you note can have on the entire job search process. I can’t guarantee that it’ll always land you the job, but it never hurts!

Continue reading → The Art of the Thank You Note

Meet Karl J. from the Retrovirus Lab at JHMI

Hopkins students have the opportunity to help out with all kinds of groundbreaking research! I chatted with Karl J., a research assistant in the Retrovirus Lab, a research group that works out of the department of Molecular and Comparative Pathobiology at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

Emily H.: How did you get started working on this research?

Karl J.: During the fall of my sophomore year, I simply sent out a number of emails to different faculty at Hopkins doing research in immunology asking if they had room for an undergraduate research assistant, most of whom were at the medical campus. Fortunately I was referred to Dr. Pate, my current PI (principal investigator, aka the person leading the research), by one of the individuals I emailed. We quickly set up a meeting to talk about my interests and background after which she agreed to take me on!

Continue reading → Meet Karl J. from the Retrovirus Lab at JHMI

Campus Job Advice for Pre-Law Students

Thinking about going to law school in the future? You have many paths to get there, but by the end of your undergraduate career, there are certain skills you need to develop to be prepared for law coursework. Fortunately, campus jobs can help you develop those skills to supplement your coursework.

Ana Droscoski, Esq., the associate director of the Office of Pre-Professional Programs and Advising, gave me some pointers on how pre-law students might want to approach their job search.

Unlike medical school applicants, who are advised to use their student job to help them achieve the standard Core Competencies for medical school admissions, law school applicants have less rigid criteria to meet beyond their GPA and LSAT score.

“While some applied experiences may be more on-point than others, any experience is relevant to and should be included on a resume for law school applicants,” Droscoski said, also noting that jobs that require a lot of reading and writing may be more useful in preparing for law school coursework.

According to Droscoski, pre-law students could also benefit from a job that requires them to communicate on a professional level with clients or customers, such as working the front desk of an office or serving food and drinks at a cafe.

“The ability to communicate in person and writing in a professional manner is crucial,” she said.

Regardless of whether the job requires these skills, pre-law students should put their best effort into any kind of student job. Balancing work and academics looks impressive on a resume, and successful employees might be able to land a recommendation from their employer to send in with their law school or outside job application.

“Time spent at any job or activity that can be accounted for on a resume, such as a campus job, helps contextualize an applicant’s undergraduate experience and responsibilities,” Droscoski said.

So, pre-law students: are you ready to start your job search? You’re only 5 steps away from landing a position on campus.





Meet Allie M. from Student Employment Services

This semester, I’ve talked to student workers from all over campus, but I also have to introduce you to my awesome co-workers in the Office of Student Employment Services!
Allie M., a junior triple-majoring in International Studies, Sociology, and Latin American Studies, is wrapping up her second year as an Office Assistant before she moves to Paris to pursue the dual degree program with Hopkins and Sciences Po. Here’s what she had to say about her experience:
Emily H.: How did you get started working for Student Employment Services?
Allie M.: I was here on campus in the summer taking Microeconomics and wanted to make some money. I applied for at least a dozen jobs & none of them interviewed or hired me. I went into the SES office to ask for some advice on my applications. That night, Sharrie (the SES Lead Payroll Coordinator) emailed me asking if I wanted to work in that office and if I could start the following day. The rest is history!

Continue reading → Meet Allie M. from Student Employment Services

Apply for Fall 2017 jobs!

Do you wish you could just skip your spring semester finals and move on to the next adventure? Even though you can’t do that, you can start thinking about what the next semester holds in store. There are already student jobs posted for Fall 2017!

Here’s a sampling of what you can apply for today:

  • Office Assistant for Academic Advising (SES Job Number 10464) – starts August 28
  • Study Consultant for Academic Advising (SES Job Number 5680) – starts August 29
  • Office Assistant for the English Department (SES Job Number 5138) – starts September 1
  • Online Course Assistant for Advanced Academic Programs (SES Job Number 10296) – starts May 15, but students who can hold this position during the academic year are strong encouraged to apply

Another position to look out for: my job. Watch this space for an announcement about the search for the next Student Employment Blogger coming soon!

The 3 skills I gained working for the JHU Press

This is a guest post by Amanda A. – a senior Writing Seminars and English double major, and a writer-editor for advertising and informational copy in the Office of Student Employment.

Want to get hands-on experience in the publishing industry right here at Hopkins? You don’t even have to be an English major like me – if you love books, I recommend working at The Johns Hopkins University Press. It’s located only a few blocks south of campus on North Charles Street and offers a variety of work opportunities for Hopkins undergraduates.

For two semesters, I worked as an Assistant Manuscript editor at the JHU Press office. Every time I went to work, I got to pass through hallways filled with books and walk up a staircase decorated with quotes from famous authors like Harper Lee.

Beyond allowing me to read a lot of interesting books, working for the JHU Press helped me develop valuable skills that I still use today. Here are the top three things I learned working at the JHU Press:

  1. Attention to Detail:

In order to edit the book manuscripts that piled onto my desk, I had to keep my eyes open for all kinds of errors from grammar to page formatting. I also alphabetized indexes and kept track of footnotes. This might sound like a lot of tedious work, but the books covered countless different topics from history to science, so it was never boring. I learned that being detail-oriented allowed these interesting books to be produced as accurately as possible for readers.

  1. Time Management:

Publishers run on tight schedules and strict deadlines, so I had to make sure I finished all my tasks on time. To do this, I had to organize my time efficiently. I made sure I prioritized; I completed the quickest tasks first so I wouldn’t get bogged down with just one manuscript.

  1. Professionalism

The JHU Press handles important academic work, and I’m grateful I had the chance to contribute in that kind of professional environment. This was one of the first times I had worked in an office, so I had to always be on time and communicate with my supervisors. These skills may seem minor, but developing them early will serve me well as I begin my postgraduate career.

Work for Undergraduate Admissions this summer!

If you’re looking for an exciting summer job, look no further than Mason Hall. The Office of Undergraduate Admissions is accepting applications for summer Tour Guides (SES Job Portal Number 10456) and Office Assistants (SES Job Portal Number 10449). Here’s what you need to know about working in admissions over the summer:

1. There’s so much to do. The Office of Undergraduate Admissions is much busier over the summer than it is over the school year. On some days, more than 1,000 people from all over the world will visit campus! Since it’s so busy, there’s no shortage of tasks that need to get done, from leading information sessions and tours to taking phone calls and entering data. You can gain all kinds of transferrable skills from this position, especially in regards to customer service and public speaking.

2. Your unique Hopkins experience is valuable. Some prospective students will be visiting campus for events that are devoted to specific fields, ranging from Pre-Med and STEM to Entrepreneurship and the Humanities. No matter what your major is, you’ll be able to provide super helpful insight for some prospective students and families. Undergraduate Admissions also loves to share students’ stories about something they’ve done at Hopkins that’s made a big impact. If you want the world to know about the class that changed your life or your totally awesome campus job, this is your perfect opportunity.

3. Only staying on campus for part of the summer? No problem. Candidates who aren’t available from May all the way through August are still welcome to apply.

Head to the SES Job Portal to apply today!



Meet Conan C. from Wilmer Eye Institute

Congratulations are in order for Conan C. – this junior biomedical engineering major won 2nd place for Student Employee of the Year! Here’s what he has to say about his work as a research assistant in the Mumm Lab at the Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute:

Emily H.: How did you get started working at Hopkins?

Conan C.: I started working in the Mumm Lab in the fall of my freshman year. I was searching through the student job portal for a research job, and found this one the most interesting. I’ve also worked in the Office of Student Life and as a Student Leadership Consultant.

EH: What are your job responsibilities?

CC: I work with a post-doctoral student on a project to study neuroprotectants on rod photoreceptors, and have an independent project studying the mechanism of a rod degeneration model. We use a zebrafish model to study these cells, so I spent my first few weeks cleaning tanks, before eventually doing the cool stuff.

EH: So, what does that mean in non-science major English?

CC: I study regeneration in the eye, and test drugs to protect eye damage.

EH: What skills have you gained from this position?

CC:  I’ve learned a lot of the basic lab skills that can be applied to any lab, but more importantly, I developed intuition on how to think scientifically and logically. 

EH: You said before that you found this research opportunity the most interesting. Why is that?

CC: Having worn glasses since I was a baby, I’ve always had a fascination for how vision works. It’s cool to learn how it works firsthand.

EH: How has this position shaped your Hopkins experience?

CC: It’s defined my experience. I am very lucky to have a great group of mentors in the lab who support me both in academics and in life. I can always go to them for advice or just to complain about my problems. It’s great to get off campus and focus on something other than academics.

EH: What advice do you have for job-seeking students?

CC: Don’t be afraid to reach out to potential employers! More often than not, they will be happy to answer your questions and be impressed by your initiative.

Thanks for the advice, Conan! If you’re looking for a cool research job like this, be sure to read these tips.