A Completely Unbiased List of the Best Yale Student Jobs

lab worker

As a first-generation low-income student on full-aid at Yale, I appreciate how affordable and accessible the campus is to me (see my past post to learn more about Yale’s affordability). Though I do still work while attending classes, I also appreciate the vast student employment options (and the high campus-wide minimum wage) that are available to me. I’ve listed below the favorite jobs that my friends and I have held at Yale. 

Nickolina, ‘21+1

je aides smile together at commencement
Nickolina, second from right, with the other JE Aides as they pass out JE banners at commencement.

Major: Biomedical Engineering

Job Title: Jonathan Edwards Head of College Aide

What did you do: I help keep the residential college office running smoothly by working office shifts, sorting through the mail, and running JE events. I help open the residential college at the beginning of the year and staff commencement events at the end of the year. I’m also a photographer at a lot of these events so I get to capture people’s joy and put together the senior slide show of all their memories.

What did you like about the job: I’ve gained a lot of communication skills working with fellows in the college and guest faculty that attend the events that JE hosts. My favorite part of the job is staffing college events like teas, study breaks, and picnics. I also get to meet so many new people in the college. No matter how busy my schedule is, I will always be at an event in JE because I’m probably working it. I have fun alongside all my friends who come even while I’m working the events. It’s so much fun being involved in my residential college this way.

Chau, ‘21

girl stands among trees
Chau smiles as she stands among her natural habitat–nature!

Major: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Job Title: Marsh Botanical Garden Horticultural Intern

What did you do: I started by managing the Garden’s Facebook page and updating the Garden’s website. I give tours of the Garden to Biology 104 students, and I’ve even taught a flower morphology class to elementary school students who visited. I also assess which plant species we might want to acquire based on certain criteria. During the pandemic, I’ve been inputting information about our specimens into an inventory database and helping my manager map out where all the plants are located in the greenhouse.

What did you like about the job: Because I’m a plant person, my favorite part of the job by far is the plants. The Garden actually has many tropical plant species that are also distributed in Vientam, so being inside the greenhouses surrounded by plants from my home is a really great way for me to deal with homesickness. The work I do is also related to my major, so it’s nice to put the theory from my EE&B classes into perspective–I get to see, touch, and smell the plants to really understand them!

Isaiah, ‘22

4 guys smile
Isaiah, far left, with a few friends before a white-out Basketball game. 

Major: Economics

Job Title: Student Staff Member at Creating Kids Childcare Center

What did you do: I helped out the fulltime childcare staff with overseeing the kids. I got to read to the kids, play games with them, and help take care of them. I always tried to relate to the kids and give them someone new to interact with.

What did you like about the job:  Yale’s work study program meant that I was able to take a break from campus and interact directly with New Haven. It was almost therapeutic to set aside the stress of classwork and just focus on the kids. I tried to make sure that they were always having fun and that they had someone they could look up to. Most of the kids at the daycare had faculty member parents, and so I got to meet professors in a more relaxed setting when they picked their kids up every day. It helped me see my own professors as more approachable people.

Hang, ‘21

girl pipettes into a test tube
Hang pipettes into a test tube for one of her expierments at theLusKing Lab. 

Major: Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology

Job Title: Undergraduate Lab Research Assistant

What did you do: I work in LusKing Lab studying the nucleus. I brainstorm and execute lab experiments and also help maintain the lab.

What did you like about the job: I’ve been working in the lab since my sophomore year, so I love the environment and the fact that I’m friendly with almost everyone in the lab. I’m planning on going to Medical School when I graduate from Yale, so I also like that the jobs gives me both a hands-on approach to my MCDB major and experience working in a lab setting.

Barbara, ‘22

girl poses in evening light
Barbara poses in one of Yale’s many residential college courtyards. 

Major: Political Science and Film Double Major

Job Title: Student Assistant at Yale Film Archive

What did you do: I served people at the front desk who came and asked for films or about screenings. I also organized the film collection and made sure screening rooms were setup and working.

What did you like about the job: I liked the relaxed environment. When we weren’t too busy at the front desk, I was able to do my school work. The job also felt like a gateway to the film major because I was able to chat with film professors when they came in and see what they were checking out to show in their classes.  I also enjoyed seeing what other people were checking out or being able to say that I’d watched some of the films that we had posters for around the center. I keep a list of interesting titles or funny titles that I came across. There are a lot of films that you’d be surprised Yale has.

As my friends’ positions demonstrate, Yale has a wide range of positions for students who must work during their time here and for those who would just like some extra money or experience. There are jobs directly related to your major and career interests, and there are also jobs that are completely unrelated, or that might have free time for you to do work in between. In my time at Yale, I’ve worked as a student manager in the dining hall, as a writing partner with the writing center, as a desk attendant at the gym, as a continuing intern with a New Haven nonprofit, and now as a blogger for the admissions office. Each of these jobs enabled me to meet new people and refine different skills, and even though the positions I’ve held at Yale haven’t all been related to my major, I still found meaning in them. If you decide to take a job on campus, know that the possibility for you will be the same!