The Ohio State University Alumni Association

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The sweetest gigs of all

Ohio State employs thousands of students. We asked two of them — an airport dispatcher and a bartender at the Blackwell — to tell us about the résumé-polishing potential of their student jobs.

For many of Ohio State’s thousands of student employees, the sentiment “Do what you love, and you’ll never work another day in your life” isn’t always what comes to mind. But for some lucky go-getters, Ohio State has offered dream jobs — or at least gigs that could lead to dream jobs. Meet Joe Atkinson and Taylor Cathcart, two students who have found work that not only helps them keep their pockets lined, but has set them up for success. Between a bartender at Ohio State’s four-star hotel and a dispatcher at the university airport, which student has the more coveted job on campus?

Joe Atkinson, senior in air transportation

Student dispatcher at The Ohio State University Airport

Ohio State University student Joe Atkinson at work at the university airport

Jo McCulty

Time and money: 10-20 hours a week at $9.30/hour

“Sometimes I have to wake up pretty early, but I have pretty flexible hours. It’s good pay for a part-time position for school. Our manager asks for our class schedules, and we give him any days we need off, and he works around them.”

Fringe benefits: scoping out luxury jets

“For the Memorial golf tournament, there were professional golfers coming into the airport. Sometimes there are big, fancy, business jets that come in. The biggest ones fit around 16 people, but if they put seats in it like a normal airliner, it would fit 30 to 40 people.”

Resume builders: task management, technical skills and knowledge

“It does get pretty chaotic. Planes will come in waves, and during busy times, you’re managing a lot of different things at once. You have to prioritize what you need to do first.”

Rubbing elbows with: pilots

“I’ve met airline and corporate pilots just from sitting at the desk doing this job. The industry is pretty close-knit, so gaining that network has been instrumental for my career.”

Taylor Cathcart, senior in sociology  

Bartender at the Blackwell Inn

Ohio State student Taylor Cathcart at work as a bartender at The Blackwell Inn on campus

Jo McCulty

Time and money: 10 hours a week at $8.30/hour, plus tips

“On an average night during the winter with no events, I probably made at least $200 a night in tips, with minimum wage on top. I work one shift a week at the Blackwell, and then I have two other jobs. It’s nice to get all the hours in at once because then I can focus on school.”

Fringe benefits: free meal each shift

“When I was working over the summer, I worked more than one shift a week, so it’s a lot of money saved.”

Resume builders: communication, time management, bartending

“I’ve gotten better at starting conversations. A lot of people on business don’t want to sit in the room by themselves, so they come down and chat.”

Rubbing elbows with: influential guests

“I have gotten a lot of advice on interviews for jobs after college. One guest who came in was working with someone at the university to open a genomics company. He said he’d send me the research they were doing, and if it interested me, they could try to work something out to get me a job after school.”

About the author

Kaylin Hynes

Kaylin Hynes has two cool jobs: as an editorial intern for Ohio State Alumni Magazine and copy desk chief for The Lantern newspaper.