Meet Lifeguard Julia P.

Julia P. is a junior majoring in Writing Seminars and double minoring in Marketing & Communications and Museums & Society. She is currently a lifeguard at the recreation center. Here’s what she has to say about her job:

Claudia G.: What training did you have to go through to get this job? 

Julia P.: Prior to getting to campus, I was lifeguard, AED, and CPR certified through a Red Cross program by my house. On campus, lifeguards are required to attend 3 in-services where we practice skills and discuss protocol.

CG: What does a normal day on the job look like for you?

JP: I get to work 15 minutes early to set up the pool. I normally work morning shifts so I open the days I work. Every 30 minutes throughout my 2 hour shift the lifeguards switch. Whoever isn’t sitting on the chair can do homework. Then after the last patron leaves, I clean up and close up.

CG: Have you ever had to actually save someone?

JP: Nope. However, our manager Morgan always says it is not if but it’s when something will happen. That is why we have the 3 required in-services, in order to make sure we are ready whenever something happens.

CG: How do you balance work and school?

JP: Luckily, I have one hour each shift I work to do some homework. I think it is the only job on campus where you can get paid and do homework.

CG: What’s your favorite part about both working on campus and your job specifically?

JP: I like working on campus because it introduced me to a whole different side of the administration and campus. I like my job because I get to interact with patrons who love to swim just like me.

CG: What advice do you have for new student employees?

Getting a job on campus through Student Employment Services is a great opportunity to expand you resume and skill set. Make sure you don’t take the opportunity lightly. If you work hard, it will pay off.

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!

Meet Dana S. from Campus Safety and Security

Dana, center, with the Campus Safety and Security team.

Dana is a senior majoring in Sociology with a minor in Marketing and Communications. She currently works at the Lost and Found Office within Campus Safety and Security. We chatted about balancing work and school and how she feels about her job on campus.

Claudia G.: How long have you been in this position? 

Dana S.: I started my position in the summer after my freshman year so I have been working with Campus Safety and Security for about two and a half years now. I was looking for a summer job on campus and I came across the position on Hopkins Student Employment Services online job search database.

CG: What does a normal day look like for you?

Dana S.: Most days I help manage the lost and found system by logging in recovered items into our database, contacting their owners if possible, recording returned items, and generally organizing our collection. I also answer calls from students and employees of Hopkins inquiring about lost items.

(Side note: It’s true! I’ve called about a lost sweater and she answered!)

CG: How do you balance work and school? 

Dana S.: I am lucky enough to have a position that allows me time to do schoolwork. However, when the office is busy I have to make sure that I allot time outside the office where I will concentrate completely on schoolwork.

CG: What’s your favorite part about working on campus?  

Dana S.: I have really enjoyed the people I work with in my office. Everyone is so friendly and they genuinely want to hear about my life. I have made both friends and mentors in my time at the Campus Safety and Security. Everyone in the office has a great sense of humor and they always know how to brighten my day. It has been a great way to make money, develop skills, form relationships, and be a part of something on campus. Taking on this job has been one of the best decisions I made in my time at Hopkins.

CG: What advice do you have for new student employees?

Dana S.: I would tell new student employees to make sure that they do not try to take as many hours as they can to make as much money as possible without considering the time they need for schoolwork. Sometimes I have taken on too much and needed to scale back my hours and there is nothing wrong with that. JHU student employers are extremely understanding and you should not be afraid to approach them with concerns.

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

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

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.

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.

Meet Jen A., the Student Employee of the year!

Want to know what it takes to be named the Student Employee of the Year? Read what this year’s winner, Jen A. from the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Bloomberg School of Public Health, has to say about her experience. Jen is a junior double majoring in Public Health and Writing Seminars with a minor in Spanish Language & Hispanic Culture, and started working at Bloomberg at the beginning of this academic year after working as a Lead Caller for the Johns Hopkins Phonathon.

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

Continue reading → Meet Jen A., the Student Employee of the year!

Meet Julia S. from the Head & Neck Cancer Research Dept. at JHMI

Happy National Student Employment Week! Today we’re spotlighting one of the students who was nominated for a JHU Student Employment Award!
Julia S. is a freshman Cognitive Science major who has been working as a laboratory assistant at Dr. David Sidransky’s Laboratory at the Head and Neck Cancer Research Department for Johns Hopkins School of Medicine since the beginning of this school year. (Want a job like this? Here’s how to get one.)

Continue reading → Meet Julia S. from the Head & Neck Cancer Research Dept. at JHMI

Meet Meagan P. from Wolman Mailroom

Whether it’s picking up a care package from your parents, mailing an important letter, or just buying some stamps, you’ve probably stopped by the counter of the Wolman mailroom located in the basement of the freshman dorm. Meagan P., a sophomore Chemistry and Writing Seminars double major, gave us an insight into what happens on the other side of the mail slot.

Amanda A.: What are the responsibilities of a student worker in the mailroom?

Meagan P.: My job consists of sorting the mail and packages that get delivered, helping students pick up their packages, as well as processing outgoing shipments. For the letter mail that gets delivered, it is my job to sort through everything and make sure that the letter gets put away into the right mailbox or is redirected to the right address.

AA: How did you find this position?

MP: I was looking for a job that had pretty flexible hours on the student jobs website, then I applied through the website as well. A couple days later I got the call for an interview and now I am privy to all the secrets of the mailroom.

Continue reading → Meet Meagan P. from Wolman Mailroom