Alumni Association publicizes Reunions jobs through 'more robust' website, student survey
Students who wish to be employed by the Office of the Alumni Association during Reunions may now complete an online survey to be considered for employment, according to an email sent by the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students to non-senior students last week. By actively circulating the survey and offering a more comprehensive student employment site,the Alumni Association is increasing its efforts to consolidate hiring for Reunions crews and publicize Reunions employment opportunities for students.
By creating a "more robust" website that advertises all of the different employment opportunities available to students during Reunions and by sending out an email to the student body detailing the process and deadline for applications, the Alumni Association hopes to make these jobs available to the entire student body, Mibs Southerland Mara,the associate director for Reunions, explained.
In past years, Reunions job opportunities were not formally advertised or centralized. Students learned about jobs through word of mouth or from individual websites, such as the Dining Services site.
Mara stated that one of her motivations in increasing advertising efforts was that in past years, multiple students called the Alumni Office in the spring hoping to work Reunions, not knowing that crew positions had long since been filled.“The employment site and survey has been available for several years, but last year we heard some feedback that it would be helpful to, you know, send an email to all underclassmen to make them aware of the employment site and survey and that there’s a deadline,” Mara explained.
The website advertises staffing positions for the Dining Services, golf cart, ice delivery, major Reunions, graduate alumni, Office of the Alumni Association, Old Guard and Public Safety crews. By filling out theStudent Employment Survey, students can indicate the jobs in which they are interested, as well as provide information about their past work and Reunions experiences. The site also directs students to external applications for Public Safety, Dining Services and certain student agencies, which have their own application processes.
Sue Pierson, the coordinator of Dining Services’ Reunions crews, emphasized the importance of hiring students for these crews.
“The alums really like to interact with the students —that’s why we hire student workers,” Pierson said. “That’s what Reunions are all about —alumni coming back and connecting with Princeton today.” Traditionally, Dining Services has advertised its employment opportunities on its website each spring and hires students on a first-come, first-served basis.
For major Reunions crews, however, the hiring process has relied more on word of mouth. Last year, 234 students were hired to work in 13 major Reunions tents, according to the email sent by ODUS. Reunions managers, who are members of the alumni class for each tent,hire student crew managers, who then oversee the staffing of their fellow crew members.
Matt Farris ’14, who served as a crew manager during Reunions 2013, explained that he was first hired as part of the Class of 1981 30th Reunions crew his freshman year after another person dropped out at the last minute. A friend and varsity hockey teammate who was a crew manager at the time offered Farris the position.
The following year, Farris was promoted to crew manager after the Reunions manager for the Class of 1982contacted him personally based on a referral from his crew manager the year before.
“There wasn’t really an application process,” Farris said before clarifying, “I know there have been other kids who have done Reunions jobs and who have gotten manager positions through sending in a resume through kind of a more professional process.”Farris said that it's common for the hiring of crew managers to happen through “more of an informal interview process” in which students can earn promotions by impressing the Reunions manager or Reunions chair.
Students wishing to be considered for a Reunions crew must fill out the Reunions 2014 Student Employment Survey and application by Dec. 9. Dining Services applications will be available sometime in the spring.
Staff writer Jean-Carlos Arenas contributed reporting.