MASON STUDENTS SHARE THEIR EXPERIENCES WORKING ON CAMPUS
Serve and Protect
By Jordan Burkhardt, Contributor
Reprinted from Freshman Focus Magazine, 2017.
Serving as a cadet during my freshman year definitely changed my perspective and made me realize I want to interact more with the Mason community because the program bridges the gap between officers and students.
As a cadet you have many duties. Shifts are broken into the categories of Traffic Control, Dining Hall, West Lot, and Patrol shifts, as well as special assignments. On traffic shifts cadets direct traffic throughout the campus. During patrol shifts, cadets complete building checks, provide unlocks and provide safety escorts for students and faculty. On dining shifts we are posted at Ike’s and Southside to ensure the safety of students throughout the weekend. Special assignments cover an array of events, including concerts in EagleBank Arena. During these cadets often direct traffic for the event and visitors coming to campus. Appearances by political figures are considered special events as well. A cadet’s duty will typically depend on the event and what is needed for that. Driving is a huge part of the cadet job. We patrol the campus in our vehicles as well as use them for safety escorts. Because the campus is a highly populated by pedestrians it is important to look for people crossing the street and follow all traffic laws when driving a state-issued vehicle.
Training to be a cadet is quite demanding. After being hired, trainees go through about 16 hours of training over one weekend. Then, they have to complete field shadowing of current cadets to gain experience, as well as pass a map quiz, a manual exam, a traffic practical, and a patrol practical. Once all this is completed a cadet will earn the ranking of Cadet First Class. In addition, cadets must take a training course on motor vehicle and golf cart safety as well as first aid and CPR training.
Students can receive valuable knowledge from the cadet program if they utilize it appropriately. Students gain discipline, a strong work ethic, and the ability to communicate with the public. Several shifts last until two in the morning, so cadets must learn to balance school and work. All of the training and work experience gained from being a cadet can help an individual pursue a career in law enforcement. For example, cadets learn how to properly communicate with dispatch. In addition, cadets work closely with the university’s Department of Police and Public Safety. Today there are several officers within Mason’s police department who were once cadets themselves.
The networking opportunities from being a cadet are many. Not only do you work directly with Mason Police but you sometimes interact with Fairfax officers as well. In addition, when you work special assignments you often get to meet the important individuals visiting Mason. For example, several cadets met Joe Biden at the “It’s on Us” sexual assault awareness event held this past April.
While there are many great experiences that come along with serving as a police cadet, one truly stands out to me. My best moment as a cadet was when I was a representative for an Honors College Black Ambition event. We discussed new ways to better the campus and maintain student safety. This really changed my perspective and made me realize that I was in a position that could bring change to our campus.
For anyone considering a career within the law enforcement area or you are just someone who wants to make a difference on campus, I encourage you to look into the Police Cadet Program and see for yourself just how great it is.
Learn more: police.gmu.edu/police-cadets
Gold and Green
by Amanda Taglieri, Contributor
Reprinted from Freshman Focus Magazine, 2017.
As an Environmental Science major who loves to garden, interning at the President’s Park Greenhouse (PPG) was the perfect opportunity to gain experience in my field. I applied for the greenhouse internship my second semester at Mason and registered for a one-credit internship course.
The President’s Park Greenhouse is unique in that the plants are grown hydroponically, meaning without soil, and all harvests go to Ike’s Dining Hall for students to eat. Three days a week, I came in to sow seeds, prune herbs, and harvest microgreens alongside student volunteers, which made up most of the workforce there. Through this experience, I became knowledgeable in botany, the work that goes into food production, and gained expertise with tools like Excel. In addition to developing workplace skills, I worked with like-minded students who also shared an interest in sustainable food production. It was amazing for us all to see the seeds we sowed just two weeks prior grow into lush flavorful greens at the salad bar! Interning at the greenhouse my freshman year was one of the best choices I made to enrich my learning experience at Mason.
Learn more: green.gmu.edu
Find Your Team
by Risa Enrique
Reprinted from Freshman Focus Magazine, 2017.
When you are surrounded by people who care for you it is easier to enjoy yourself. You surround yourself with likeminded people and everyone strives for a similar goal. At Mason Recreation, we have the goal of creating a multifaceted, enjoyable, and safe environment where patrons may exercise, interact with others, and further develop their well-being.
I was interested in working with Mason Recreation from the time I got to campus. I knew that I did not want a typical “office” job; I needed to be able to move around, speak with others, and have the opportunity to engage with the Mason community. One day while I was exercising at the Aquatic and Fitness Center (AFC), I saw an employee and asked her about Mason Recreation and if there were any ways that I could get involved. After that interaction, I knew that Mason Recreation was the team I wanted to be on. I applied on their website that day, and everything took off from there.
Being a Fitness Attendant is not always what people think we do. Most often patrons see us cleaning the gym equipment or sweeping the floors, but we are actually an essential part to the way our facilities function. Yes, cleaning and laundry are a part of our duties, but we are also there for the patrons when they are unsure of how to use our equipment. We are also First Aid/CPR/AED certified, so we act as the first responders in the case of an emergency on the fitness floor.
Working with Mason Recreation is such a fun experience, especially if you love interacting with people. It gives you the opportunity to speak with those you wouldn’t otherwise see, as well as see your friends working out.
Our facilities also have convenient locations near each neighborhood on campus so wherever you live, there is a facility close by to work in or work out!
Learn more: recreation.gmu.edu
HireMason is Mason’s one stop shop for job and internship information. To access HireMason, visit, hiremason.gmu.edu and login using your Patriot Pass Credentials. Once your HireMason profile is complete, you can click on the “On-Campus Jobs” link under the shortcuts menu. In addition to HireMason, you can visit the webpage of the office you are interested in to see if they have any application information available. We encourage you to take advantage of the resume review and interview preparation resources available at University Career Services to assist in making your application materials strong so you can put your best foot forward.
Part Time Job Fair
Wednesday, August 30 | 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM | Dewbery Hall, Johnson Center
More info/text can be pulled from: http://careers.gmu.edu/events/index.cfm#Welcome%20Week%20-%20Part%20Time%20Job%20Fair
Student Employee Workshop Series
More info/text can be pulled from: https://ulife.gmu.edu/students/get-a-job/
Sept 14: Customer Service Workshop Customer service skills demonstrate your ability to solve problems, work with others, and take initiative. Get tips for improving these skills so you can stand out in your work! 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. in SUB 1, 3400 Register online: sewcustomerservice.eventbrite.com
Sept 29: Strengths: Discovering & Using Yours Attend this interactive workshop to discover your top talents and strengths! You’ll identify and share your strengths, see how your they impact your choices, and learn new ways to use your them in your work and your life. Make sure to bring your top 5 with you to the workshop! 2 to 3:30 p.m. in The Hub 2400 Register online: sewstrength.eventbrite.com
Oct 12: What would you do? Diversity in the workplace Can you navigate and thrive in a multicultural and globally diverse setting? In this session, you’ll reflect on how your culture may (or may not) show up at your work, and how that impacts your experience. Together we will examine common workplace dilemmas through “What would you do?” scenarios. 2 to 3:30 p.m. in SUB 1, 3400 Register online: sewdiversity.eventbrite.com
Fall Career Fair
October 4-5, 2017 | 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM | Dewbery Hall, Johnson Center
More info/text can be pulled from: https://careers.gmu.edu/events/?day=4
Photo by Alexis Glenn/ Creative Services