Students walk toward the Michael and Sara Kuhlin Hub for Career Design and Connections on the second floor of the Bowen-Thompson Student Union

BGSU Student Employment Services gains support from the Work+ Collective Institute

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Student employees and supervisors will benefit from a stream of new resources through this innovative, design-thinking-centered partnership.

Editor’s Note: This article was guest-written by Amanda Albaugh, a working learner at BGSU and an intern within the Michael and Sara Kuhlin Hub for Career Design and Connections. Amanda is a sophomore majoring in advertising with a minor in digital arts.

New and innovative opportunities have emerged at Bowling Green State University Student Employment Services with the recent acceptance of the student employment team — a group within the Michael and Sara Kuhlin Hub for Career Design and Connections — into the Work+ Collective Institute. The collaboration will develop a vision, commitment and strategy to redesign the working learner experience at BGSU. 

Amanda Albaugh
Amanda Albaugh is a working learner and intern in the Michael and Sara Kuhlin Hub for Career Design and Connections

The Work+ Collective Institute is an organization that is revolutionizing what it means to be a working learner — a student who balances gaining an education while earning a paycheck.  

The institute places an emphasis on student satisfaction by integrating design thinking principles into its programs that will benefit BGSU. 

“A student's job on campus is a signature part of their college experience," said Steve Russell, associate vice president of corporate partnerships at BGSU and the executive director of the Kuhlin Hub.

"With BGSU at the forefront of delivering a world-class student experience, this represents the next innovative leap forward and affirms our commitment to providing intentional and inclusive on-campus employment opportunities aligned with Life Design principles.

“We aim to help every student feel like they belong, find purpose as working learners, and gain momentum towards achieving their future career aspirations.”

Working side by side with working learners and supervisors, the University’s student employment team in the Kuhlin Hub helps students prototype employment opportunities that will align with their strengths and interests. 

A person stands and looks at a seated student working on a computer
The University's Student Employment Services office, led by Director Dawn Frieson, is housed within the Kuhlin Hub (BGSU photo/Haven Conn '22)

Students also are provided with easy-to-access tools and resources to guide them down a successful path, even beyond graduation. This helps the student employment team ensure that on-campus employment opportunities will equip students with the necessary experience and skills so they are career-ready once they graduate. 

The goal of the Work+ Collective Institute is to help working learners make the most of their employment so that it is not just another job — it is a valuable experience that gives students the confidence to launch a fulfilling career.  

These ideals and the Work+ Collective Institute were developed by Arizona State University in 2020. Since then, they have been joining forces with student employment teams at universities across the country. 

With help from the Career Design and Connections staff in the Kuhlin Hub, the student employment team at BGSU has been providing countless employment opportunities to help students jump-start their careers.  

As part of the collective, BGSU can create a network with other higher education institutions that have the same goals and aspirations. Together, the universities can encourage one another and share best practices regarding student employment.  

A woman gives a handout to another woman across a desk
The student employment team helps ensure that working learners at BGSU experience on-campus employment opportunities that equip them with the necessary skills to help them be career-ready once they leave campus.

BGSU students will begin seeing these benefits soon.

On April 25, BGSU and the Work+ Collective Institute will co-host a discovery sprint on campus. The purpose of this sprint is to take a closer look at the current student employment culture at BGSU. A series of design-thinking exercises and in-depth discussions with students, supervisors, and faculty will take place throughout the day. Listening to feedback and empathizing with the student body is the crucial first step in reshaping the working learner experience at BGSU.   

News of the University’s acceptance into the Work+ Collective Institute coincided with National Student Employment Week, held April 8-12. Throughout the week, student employees across campus were thanked for their efforts and contributions to the University through activities and events. The 22nd Annual Student Employee Appreciation and Awards banquet was also held to recognize the exceptional achievements of both student employees and supervisors.

Student employees play a vital role at the University and providing them with the necessary support will help them showcase their capabilities and reach their full potential. The working learner experience revolves around the student, which is why fostering a meaningful journey for them is essential, and Student Employment Services’ new collaboration with the Work+ Collective Institute intends to help create the best student employment experience possible at BGSU. 

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Media Contact | Michael Bratton | | 419-372-6349

Updated: 04/15/2024 04:33PM