Bookstore Grabs Students
Published: Friday, January 31, 2014
Updated: Friday, January 31, 2014 02:01
The Georgetown University bookstore began hiring student employees this semester, for the first time in several years.
“Students are the reason we’re here. Students are a big part of the campus. And it’s really how to stay connected to students,” Director of Campus Stores Janet Uzzell said. “We’re part of the university. And students are part of the campus, and it just makes sense.”
Uzzell took an active recruitment approach this year, personally reaching out to students and relying on word of mouth to attract potential hires.
“I get the right connections and they start talking and they know that we’re hiring students. … Connecting and sort of word of mouth, in a lot of instances, definitely works,” Uzzell said.
When hiring her first student, Uzzell directly approached the student in the store.
“It’s a funny story,” Emeline Kong (COL ’17) said. “I was in the bookstore and I was with a friend who was there a lot. And as he was walking out he said, ‘I’m in there all the time.’ The manager overheard us and just offered the opportunity to apply and told us about it.”
Kong then shared the opportunity with several hallmates, many of whom found the position appealing, including new hires Elizabeth McCurdy (COL ’17) and Adithya Rajan (MSB ’17).
“I actually always thought it would be a really cool job to work at the bookstore, but I had never seen any students working there, so never thought to apply. … Emeline gave me the manager’s card so I just emailed her and then went to meet with her and she was really responsive and great and it was super easy,” McCurdy said.
Rajan Kong, and McCurdy, who all live in Darnall Hall, felt attracted to the bookstore job opportunity because of its convenient location.
“Mainly, commute time is shorter, because it’s a long way to M Street and Wisconsin. It’s an additional 10 to 15 minutes and in cold weather, that’s just brutal,” Rajan said.
The position ended up offering much more to students, besides convenience, including flexibility with student schedules and a highly welcoming atmosphere.
McCurdy, who had previously sought off-campus employment, discussed the effectiveness of the bookstore’s personable hiring process.
“I had considered applying for a job on M Street. I actually kind of tried, started that process and emailed the manager of a store on M Street, but they never responded to me, so it was nice just to have someone so close to campus and also be so responsive and so nice,” McCurdy said.
Uzzell has only been managing the store for six months, but immediately wanted to employ students.
For students, the bookstore is a large part of the campus experience, and the employment opportunity allows for more student involvement.
“I think it would be really great to have students working there, because even though it’s not The Corp, it’s not a student-run business or anything, it’s still a huge part of campus,” McCurdy said.
Non-student workers could not be reached for comment, but students report that they are similarly helpful and accepting.
“My first customer, I guess you could say, was another employee who was just getting something for lunch so she just said, ‘You know, take your time, take as long as you want to ring me up’ and I did and it made all the stress go away,” McCurdy said.
Uzzell is still searching for more enthusiastic, energetic students to apply, including a full roster of summer employees.
“I would love more students to apply, a broader spectrum. I would like to get a group of students I could hire for the summer. We are never slow here. We have groups all summer long, but people that want to work for the summer, and we’re very flexible and we’ll work with your schedules and understanding that your school schedule is first,” Uzzell said.