A&F Student Employees Share Their Experiences

The second week of April is designated as National Student Employment Week by the National Student Employment Association, and in the Division of Administration and Finance, 112 hourly student workers are employed with division departments, food establishments, or campus retail locations to supplement their income, gain real-life work experience, and obtain resume-building skills.  

For many students, going to university is the first time they are responsible for their schedule. From choosing their classes to navigating new social environments, no student has the same university life.  

With student employees, that individual freedom is enhanced as they are tasked with balancing their academic courses with their employee workload. And each workweek is tailored to their own academic and work needs.  

student worker

Grace Lockett, a junior, has worked at Cougar Card Services as a customer service representative since her freshman year. In each of those years, her class and work schedule have changed as she transitions from one student classification to the next.  

Currently, Lockett is taking 15 credit hours on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday and working 18 hours as a customer service representative in the Cougar Card office.  

On Mondays and Tuesdays, she works the morning shift at Cougar Card Services and usually starts her day with a granola bar or muffin before heading to work.  

After work, Lockett, who lives on campus, takes an hour break to eat lunch before heading to her classes at UH at Sugar Land. Driving in a large metropolitan city took some getting used to for the Canyon Lake, Texas native but said she’s now comfortable driving around Houston. 

Lockett spends most of her Thursday at UH at Sugar Land for classes, but she returns to UH Main on other class days.  

“I’ll unpack and start doing homework or start prepping for my [GLOBAL] club meeting on Tuesday,” said Lockett, the acting president of this social organization.  

Being a student employee for the past three years has allowed Lockett to manage her time better. While she still prioritizes work and school, she’s found it easier to fit in time for personal things like club meetings or exercise.  

“I didn’t know how to fit in that time for myself, but now I can make it all work,” said the 22-year-old. “It’s very structured, and it’s just kind of like Tetris, trying to fit all the pieces in.”  

For Isa Mineros, a freshman, making the pieces fit means working only on weekends. Starting in the fall of 2023, Mineros has worked 16 hours on weekends at the Cougar Village Market Store. During the week, the architecture major takes four classes, or 12 hours.  

student worker

Since she lives off-campus, Mineros likes to spend as much time on campus during the week, not just for her classes but to do homework, and says she doesn’t leave till well after 5 p.m.  

Mineros wanted to work on campus to experience campus life from an employee perspective.   

“You get two different experiences, which really helps you feel more mature having both experiences at the same time,” said Mineros. “Plus, the comfort of being at the same place without having to travel just for work.”  

Mineros’ work involves restocking shelves and ringing customers up and the freshman said she’s enjoyed it adding that having the income helps her buy the materials she needs for classes and lessens the burden on her parents. 

While her first year is still ongoing, Mineros has already made up her mind and wants to work on campus again next year, whether that’s at the Cougar Village Campus Store or elsewhere, to expand her campus experience.  

While Mineros may be starting her collegiate journey as a student employee, another architecture major, Dennis Lopes, is concluding his.  

Lopes has been working in Delivery Services since 2019, sorting packages and preparing them for delivery. The senior works 20 hours a week while managing a four-class workload.  


He became a student employee for the convenience of having his classes and employer be in the same location.  

Being a senior, Lopes’ class schedule differs from others. The architecture major has all but one of his classes online, with the added advantage that the classes are asynchronous, which allows him to plan his week accordingly.  

“It’s super helpful,” said Lopes of his online schedule. “Now, I actually have time for myself, I can work, and I have time on the weekends as well.”  

Lopes, much like Lockett and Mineros, said working on campus has given him real-life work experience. In his case, it’s learning how to communicate efficiently with people in workplace environments.  

Working on campus has many benefits to a student but above all, it allows them an opportunity to test the water of being in the workforce.  

All three A&F student employees agreed that the benefits of working while being a student will aid them in some form in their future careers after graduation.