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Rustler Insight: Working on Campus as a Student

October 22, 2020 by Trysta Stingley

Trysta Stingley operating grounds equiptment

Bbbrrrooommm. That's the sound of a distant lawnmower, weedeater, or leaf blower. This grounds equipment is essential to beautify the campus and give the physical plant something to do. But there is much more to grounds than CWC staff and equipment; there are student workers!
A student worker is enrolled in at least six credit hours on CWC's campus and is employed at one of CWC's many student jobs. Being a student worker is an excellent opportunity if you would like a close and convenient job to where you live and go to school. Working on campus is great because most positions will only have you work when you are personally available. This means that you can set priorities for school to come first and your job to come second. Central Wyoming College only allows students to work up to 19 hours a week, so students won't get behind on their homework. Student workers are necessary to the college so the campus can run smoothly and effectively. Student-workers help swipe your card at lunch, check out your books from the library, and of course, rake all the fall leaves that are raining down.
Different areas student workers help manage on campus include the cafeteria, the grind, gym, campus security, radio, WY PBS, health screen station, tutor, bookstore, office assistant, IT assistant, grounds, custodial, housing, library, cashiers office, marketing, recruiter, equine, ASI, and much, much, more! There is a knack available for almost any student at CWC if you go looking for it.
All of the supervisors are lenient and laid back when it comes to scheduling. They know it's challenging to go to school and work at the same time. They try to keep you from becoming overwhelmed. They let you take days off if there is a notice in advance; if you have an upcoming school event of some sort. My supervisor is Stefan Petersen, the grounds director of the campus. He is very nice, respectful, and consistent when managing his student workers.

I have been working grounds under Stefan's wing since May of 2019 without any prior job experience. It has proved to be very rewarding. I have grown and learned so much in a year and a half. ”

Trysta Stingley

It is unbelievable what I will bring to my next job or future career from here. So many aspects of working grounds can be brought into your personal life. For example, my parent's house is currently looking much better on the exterior than last year. I also learned some ideas I can bring to my future home. The most important is never ever plant juniper.
I have learned how to use a John Deere riding lawn mower, a Walker Mower, and our newest addition, the Hustler. I have to be careful of so many little things when handling such large equipment that I am not particularly used to. I have learned to back up a trailer as well as drive and use a large tractor, which is really fun to scoop snow with or smash down branches. I have also learned how to start the leaf blower, so the campus can rest peacefully, knowing the sidewalks will be debris free every morning. I have learned how to weed-eat, which was never a problem at my house since we lived so far out of town that it didn't matter what our yard looked like. You can see me buzzing around in a gator, stopping ever so often at the base of each tree and lamppost on campus to make sure there is no grass sneaking beside it.
One of the most important things I have learned is the value of hard work. I have always considered myself a hard worker, but it is an entirely different playing field when you're pulling weeds for a day or lifting BFRs for eight hours. I have come home many times sprinkler soaked and covered in mud from digging trenches to replace sprinkler lines. But the best part is that my boss and coworkers make everyday fun, interesting, and challenging to keep the student workers engaged for the task.
Grounds workers do have a lot of fun on the clock and on excursions, which I like to call 'field trips'. This is anytime we leave campus. Going to Sweet Water Garden to pick up plants, running to ACE to get a T-joint for the sprinkler pipes, or even going to ASI to pick up some boulders for the campus are all considered 'field trips' in my eyes. The BIG field trip we made this summer was a floating trip down the Wind River Canyon. We started at the Wedding of the Waters and floated almost all the way down to Hot Springs State Park. It was nice to have a break in the middle of the summer to take a trip to bond with coworkers. We fished, had a picnic, and swam till the end of the day. It was so much fun! 
I might be a bit biased, but not every campus job could be as fun as grounds. However, I believe there is a job opportunity for almost any student on campus. If you're willing to put in the work and dedication that it takes to be a great employee and be a face of campus, you'll have no problem finding a student job at CWC.

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