Finding a Job on Campus

A man and a woman look at the woman's folder and have a conversation during a career fair.

September 17, 2020
Madeline Hueske

Lots of students come to campus with job experience, either working over the summer or after school and on weekends. It’s a great way to make some additional cash and learn valuable skills, such as scheduling, working with other people, and handling money. Many of these same skills can be learned in an on (or off) campus job, so many new college students want to start searching for work once they arrive on campus. The question is, what job opportunities are available for Gonzaga students? And how do students find them?

Work Study (Federal vs. Institutional)

The most popular option for students is probably a work study job. There are two kinds of work study: federal and institutional. Federal work study is a program funded by the federal government, and is awarded to students that demonstrate financial need on their FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).

Students that are not eligible for federal work study jobs can apply for institutional positions. Many of the job opportunities for federal and institutional work study are the same.

If you are curious about your eligibility for federal work study positions, or aren’t sure if you’ve been awarded work study as part of your financial aid package, you can talk to the Financial Aid office at or at 509-313-6582.

Most of the on-campus job opportunities are available for both federal and institutional work study students, but you should always check in with the Student Employment office if you have questions.

Types of Jobs

If you walk around campus, you will get a feel for the huge variety of jobs available to all Gonzaga students. Many students work in the dining hall, fitness center, for GUEST (the Gonzaga University Event Service Team), for the Hemmingson front desk, for the library, campus departments such as Student Involvement and Leadership or the Admission office, or as an intramural referee.

Other positions with different compensation or requirements could mean applying to be a Resident Assistant (RA) or for another position in the Housing office. These are available for students starting their sophomore year.

 Off-Campus Jobs

Some students would rather pursue an off-campus job, such as working at coffee shop or restaurant around Spokane. These jobs are good options because students can collect tips (which they cannot do on campus), and can get students off campus and into the community.

One important note about off-campus jobs, however, is they are often not as flexible as on-campus ones. Your employer on campus will know the rhythms of being a college student and will often allow some flexibility around midterms or finals, for example. Off-campus, you may not be awarded the same flexibility, so you will need to be on top of your scheduling.

Lots of Zags start looking for jobs around Spokane in a field they are interested in, either as a summer job or part-time position during the school year. Our Center for Professional Development (CPD) and Student Employment office can help students search for these opportunities as a way to help develop a network and get valuable job experience.

Before you start looking for a job, there are some important questions you should ask yourself:

  • Am I eligible for federal or institutional work study?
  • Do I want to work on or off campus?
  • Am I interested in a summer position, or one during the school year?
  • What is my availability, and how much time will I need for my homework, extracurriculars, and social life?
  • Which resources should I use to start my job search?
If you’d like to contact CPD, you can visit their website and schedule an individual meeting with ZagsIgnite. Student Employment can be reached at