Not your standard student jobs

By The Beacon | February 4, 2015 4:02pm

By Alina Rosenkranz

The phrase, “student jobs” usually summons to the mind an image of a barista, or an office assistant job involving a lot of time behind a desk. However, some student jobs on campus are far from typical.

From outdoor trip leaders to social media managers, learn what interesting tasks these jobs involve and what the students think about them.

Talbot Andrews: coordinator for Outdoor Pursuits You can find junior political science and psych major Talbot Andrews at Smith Rock or the Columbia Gorge on the weekends, getting paid to lead student outdoor excursions.

Andrews says her job as a coordinator for outdoor pursuits is the best job, because she gets paid for organizing trips and activities that she would do even if she wasn’t getting paid. Not only does she come up with the trips that she leads, but she also organizes other trips that are planned for the weekends or breaks.

Andrews especially enjoys the trips over spring or fall break because she gets to know the people better. For many years, OPP has organized a multi-day trip for rock climbing Smith Rock.

“That trip has been hands-down my favorite,” Andrews said.

On every trip Andrews said she gets to meet new people. It is just her thing, and so it is not a surprise that she has worked for Outdoor Pursuits since her freshman year.

Samantha van den Berg: social media assistant for the marketing department

Samantha van den Berg, a junior organizational communication studies major, works for UP’s marketing department as a social media assistant. She works behind the scenes of many of your favorite UPortland social media projects. Van den Berg’s job is in many ways the job we all have dreamed of: Getting paid to spend copious amount of time on social media.

“Basically, all we do is work on projects,” van den Berg said. “We make videos and we go out and do those fashion shoots.”

She works in collaboration with the Associate Director for News and Content, Joe Kuffner, developing ideas to connect with students and alumni via social media. One of the projects she was involved in was coffee delivery during dead week.

Van den Berg enjoys working in the marketing department because it actively tries to connect the administration with the student body.


Jake Vancampen: bike mechanic

Jake Vancampen, sophomore and biochemistry major, works in Howard Hall as a bike mechanic. A large part of his job is renting out bikes to students every day. However, he also spends a great deal of time tinkering and fixing student and faculties bikes.

“We have a nice fleet of bicycles that people can rent for free, and they have to rent a lock and a helmet at the same time, so that it’s all good,” Vancampen said.

Vancampen always enjoyed fixing his own bikes, and now that he works as a bike mechanic he realizes that most bike owners don’t actually know how to do that. He enjoys providing a service that everybody needs.

“When I got here I learned really quickly," Vancampen said.  "I had all the right tools to do stuff properly so I learned a lot more.”

Vancampen thinks the most fun part of his job are the challenges, like when somebody comes in with a 30-year-old bike and there isn’t a very efficient way to fix it.

Alina Rosenkranz is a reporter for The Beacon. You can reach her at