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The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

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Opinion | Stop asking women if they want children
Opinion | Stop asking women if they want children
By Grace Harris, Staff Columnist • 12:19 am
Opinion | Long-distance friendships are possible
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor • June 6, 2024

Students compare on-campus versus off-campus jobs

Forbes+Ave.+near+the+University+of+Pittsburgh+campus.
TPN File Photo
Forbes Ave. near the University of Pittsburgh campus.

An estimated 40% of full-time college students have jobs. For many Pitt students, the decision between working an on- versus off-campus job comes down to convenience, scheduling and wages. Still, some students decide to work a combination of on- and off-campus jobs at the same time.

Sophia Yialamas, a senior accounting and marketing major, started working an on-campus job in the Panther Post mailroom because it made the most sense for her schedule and life. 

“I needed money, obviously, because being in college is expensive and your money goes away like nothing,” Yialamas said. “The mailroom was a really good option because you work, and then you have a lot of downtime. I do all my homework there, so I don’t think I’ll ever get rid of that job.” 

In addition to working in the mailroom, Yialamas also recently began working at Lululemon in the Ross Park Mall. 

“I didn’t get enough hours in the mailroom because they go by when the post office closes, so it’s hard to work that in between my schedule of classes,” Yialamas said. “But I still think it’s worth it, because I get to do my work at the mailroom and then I get a really good discount at Lululemon.” 

The hardest part about balancing on- and off-campus jobs, Yialamas said, is scheduling shifts for both. 

“I usually start at Lululemon an hour after I finish the mail room,” Yialamas said. “I’m not gonna lie, the days I work both jobs are really hard. It’s not fun at all. Panera charged lemonades and Red Bulls are important on those days.”

Iris Keister, a junior environmental science major and server at The Melting Pot, only works an off-campus job because of the opportunity for higher pay. 

“What really drew me into working off campus is the pay rate and being able to work something that’s not minimum wage and has the potential for tips,” Keister said. 

Though Keister likes her off-campus job, she would prefer to work on campus if it weren’t for the Pennsylvania minimum wage. 

‘It isn’t feasible for me,” Keister said. “My first semester at Pitt I worked on campus, but the pay wasn’t enough to live on.” 

Keister noted that it’s harder for someone to find off-campus jobs if they don’t have a car.

“I drive with my friend to work, because she has a car and I don’t,” Keister said. “We get scheduled for the same shifts so she can take me. I probably wouldn’t be able to work there if we couldn’t do that.” 

Hannah Mueller, a junior education major, started her federal work study program at Pitt Serves during her first semester at Pitt and picked up a second job at Subway last year. She said she originally took a second on-campus job, but it wasn’t sustainable. 

“Freshman year, I was making minimum wage,” Mueller said. “I got a second on-campus job second semester freshman year, but Pitt caps the amount of hours students can work at 20. I was deadlocked at the 20 hours and wasn’t making enough money, so I started the off-campus job sophomore year.” 

Like Mueller, Yialamas said she would work more hours on campus if it was feasible. 

“If I could get more hours at the mailroom, I would love that,” Yialamas said. “I wish they didn’t have that 20 hours a week max, because I feel like a lot of students can work more than that. Between my two jobs I work 40 hours a week, and because of the hour restrictions it makes it more difficult for students to get the work they want.” 

According to Jared Stonesifer, a University spokesperson, “the University encourages students to seek and obtain work experience while pursuing their academic interests. To minimize the tax burden for the students — and to promote a healthy balance around work, studies and life — the limit is set to 20 hours a week. In particular, FICA tax is based upon the number of educational credits and hours worked as a student.” 

Yialamas said she likes working on campus during the week when she is going to and from classes, whereas going off campus is easier on the weekends. 

“I mostly work the bulk of my hours at Lululemon on the weekends, because it’s when I don’t work in the mailroom since we’re not open on Sundays,” Yialamas said. “So it naturally works out that when I wouldn’t be able to get work at the mailroom, I get the hours at the mall.” 

Both Mueller and Kendall Rayome, a junior anthropology and political science major, prefer their on-campus jobs because of the flexibility worked into them. 

“I started working at Panther Central in March of 2023,” Rayome said. “They were super accommodating with schedules, and it was a really good opportunity to learn basic skills, like answering phones and navigating different websites.” 

“The on-campus job works better with my classes, because I’m working with people who know my main goal is to be a student,” Mueller said. “I met my current roommate through my on-campus job, and I feel so supported by the staff I work with.” 

About the Contributor
Ryleigh Lord, News Editor
Ryleigh Lord is the head news editor at The Pitt News. She is a junior history and English writing major with an Irish minor. She also contributes to the culture desk, mostly to talk about the shows and movies she loves. In her free time, she's usually cheering on Arsenal WFC despite their best efforts to break her spirit. You can contact her at [email protected]