Student Employment Services Director Dawn Frieson assists a BGSU student employee

Q&A with Dawn Frieson of Student Employment Services

What you might not know about student employment and how it powers campus

Director of Student Employment Services Dawn Frieson brought her HR expertise to the University nearly 10 years ago. Since then, she and her staff have been serving BGSU students by providing access to part-time and seasonal job opportunities, while also assisting employers by connecting them with talented and motivated students.

As the University’s human resources office for BGSU students, SES assists BGSU employers with posting job vacancies, hiring students, and verifying and monitoring students’ continuing eligibility for employment. The staff also provides consultation services regarding workplace issues and offers programs on topics relative to developing and supervising a student workforce.

We sat down with Frieson to discuss the important role her office plays on campus and highlight some key issues related to student employment. 

How many BGSU students work on campus? 

SES maintains over 900 job descriptions for on-campus jobs, and we post those positions in Handshake. We have students in approximately 200 departments across campus. When you include GAs in the total student employee population, as of Sept. 30, 2022, we had 2,248 students who made over $869,000 working on campus only. 

What is the biggest onboarding issue student employees and their employers face? 

We have employers contacting us all the time to ask if their students are authorized to begin working. More often than not, the answer is no. A student may have completed all their onboarding paperwork, but the final step, completing the I-9 form, is often overlooked. Students must visit our office to complete their I-9 form in person and bring the appropriate documentation with them. This essential step is outlined in our Student Employment Handbook, which is a handy resource for both our students and employers.

The Student Employment Services team (left to right): Tony Fox, Erin Hartman, Dawn Frieson and Amanda Stoughton
The Student Employment Services team (left to right): Tony Fox, Erin Hartman, Dawn Frieson and Amanda Stoughton

Is there anything on the horizon you would like to point out to those with student employees on their team?

As we look to the future, effective Jan. 1, 2023, the minimum wage will increase to $10.10. Any student making below minimum wage will automatically see an increase on their Jan. 20, 2023, paycheck.

For higher skilled or tenured employees who are making $10.10 or more, employers should be preparing to look at how the increase in minimum wage will affect their ability to “right size” these students. Last year, the minimum went up $0.50 after only going up a dime every year for quite a while. Now, we’re looking at an $0.80 raise, which is going to affect University budgets. 

How important are student employees to University operations, and how can we express our appreciation? 

National Student Employment Week (NSEW) happens annually during the second full week in April, and we use this time to recognize and encourage student employees and employers. That’s a great opportunity to formally recognize and reward our students. But I would like to encourage everyone to celebrate their student employees as often as possible because they absolutely deserve it. 

Be sure to thank your students and treat them with care – they represent our future workforce. Publicly thank them often on your social media, department webpage and during staff meetings.

While we have always known the high value of BGSU student employees, the pandemic raised our awareness of just how integral student employees are to the work we all do. We are currently staffed at approximately 84% of our pre-COVID numbers, and I hope that we can gain back even more ground.

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

Updated: 05/01/2023 10:07AM