Published: Jan. 10, 2024

UPS on campusFaculty and staff supervisors of student employees have the opportunity to help shape tomorrow’s leaders. Student employees are vital to daily campus operations. These roles support the university and offer students the chance to develop skills that will benefit their future. 

Supervisors can maximize the student experience by guiding professional development and helping students cultivate skills. Here are some tips faculty and staff can apply when supervising student employees.  

Create a plan and set goals 

Each semester, prepare for student employees by developing a plan. You can set goals and expectations for your students and help them prepare for the world of work.  

Ideally, plan for projects or work that students can complete beyond day-to-day tasks. These projects can help them build a portfolio of experiences they can discuss in future interviews. Consider projects for students that stretch them professionally, teach them new skills and build professional confidence. 

Talk about skill development  

As you set goals and assign work for your student employees, you could also have a conversation about skills they’d like to develop over the semester. If they are unsure, suggest that they focus on one or two foundational skills to start. These skills apply to any job in any industry and help students become strong candidates for positions they pursue after graduation. Review these tips for faculty and staff to help increase awareness around skill-building and resources to use when working with students. 

Teach work etiquette 

For some students, their on-campus job may be their first work experience. You can help them succeed and meet expectations by sharing basic work etiquette practices. Discuss the importance of arriving to work on time, how to communicate schedule changes or absences, expectations for attire and other standards for workplace behavior. This can help avoid misunderstandings and teach students valuable knowledge to carry into their careers. 

Collaborate with your colleagues 

Student employees may assist with many different areas of your unit. Having a point person or program manager for centralized onboarding and training support can help student employees have a positive experience and introduction to their role. This person can help communicate workflows and processes, cultivate team bonding and share the overall vision or mission for the office.  

Share feedback 

While one-on-one meetings and performance evaluations are often not required for student employees, supervisors should plan to do them anyway. These types of feedback can help the student grow professionally and learn what they may experience in their jobs after college. Also, you can use these to share feedback for development. What is the student doing well? Where can they grow? Help prepare them for life after college by scheduling time to provide feedback. 

Get help from Career Services 

Faculty and staff can be instrumental in helping students figure out what to do after college. As a partner in supporting students with their future endeavors, Career Services offers resources for faculty and staff: