Work-Study Brings Lessons of its Own

UM-laura
“We just have some great scholarships that will really make a difference,” says Local 3800’s Laura Thielke.

AFSCME staff on campus often supervise work-study students. They sometimes do more than that.

“I would say I’m often a mentor to them,” says Laura Thielke, who oversees scholarship funds on the Morris campus. “They’re often management majors, and I get to assign them important, hands-on work.” Thielke herself was a management major at Morris, so she makes sure her students get the experience they need.

In addition to work skills, students gain organizational, interpersonal and other life skills, says Mark Desrosiers. He supervises students at Wilson Library in the Twin Cities. “We get all kinds of patrons here,” he says, “angry patrons, confused patrons. I think students learn how to handle situations that can be awkward sometimes.”

“They need to have an idea of what work is all about,” says Ron Kubik, who supervises the computer help desk in Morris. “So you treat them as employees, with responsibilities. You’re teaching them how to work, how to keep that ethic, and how to have some of that when they go out into the community to find jobs.”