There are solutions to student job losses

By Andrea Iseman
Life Reporter
Published: January 17, 2008

Students who face job losses after the Christmas season can seek assistance from financial aid and the career centre.

Job loss and money problems are a reality for many students, said Karen Fast, manager of the career centre. After the Christmas holidays, some students might have to look elsewhere for employment.

“I have noticed a drop in hours at my workplace,” said second year fashion arts student Anamaria Dujic, 21. “I’m obviously planning on working the hours I’ve been given and will maybe start looking for a second job.”

But there are solutions for students, such as work-study jobs on campus. There are many career fairs that are going on this month, which gives students a chance to meet employers face to face.
“We try to make students think creatively about job areas that will be booming in February and March, such as party planning” said Fast.

During the winter, students are also experiencing increased financial need, said Holsee Sahid, manager of financial aid.

“We can’t help everyone,” she said. “Students had three weeks to work so you would have hoped they saved over the Christmas break.”

Students can apply for financial need bursaries through financial aid. She said preference is given to students in their final year, and to those who have experienced something unexpected, such as family breakdown.

“It isn’t like ‘my friend got a bursary and I want one too,’” she said.

Students can also seek help from agencies, such as the not-for-profit organization Credit Canada, which provides financial counselling services.

Elena Jara, the education co-ordinator at Credit Canada, said that more than 10 to 15 per cent of her clients are students in university or college.

To make sure their money last throughout the semester, students should budget their cash and make the right choices, she said.

Sahid, from financial aid, agrees with this advice.

“You can buy a pair of designer jeans for $100 or $20,” she said, “and sometimes you don’t even see much difference.”

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