*By: Gray Tu

Eight applicants were hired for student worker positions at NYU Shanghai’s Career Development Center from the 109 that applied in the 2021 Fall Semester. For this semester, 49 students applied but 10 were hired. 

Of all the on-campus jobs at NYU Shanghai, those at CDC continue to be among the most sought-after. 

 “The CDC student worker position is intended to help students develop a deeper perspective of their career path, as well as learn multiple soft skills and hard skills,” said Oscar Zhang, a full-time staffer working at CDC.

Every student worker in CDC is required to do weekly 8 hours shifts and attend a one-hour meeting. Junior student workers in CDC, who are freshmen, get paid 25 yuan per hour. Senior student workers, who are sophomores and have been working in CDC for a year, get paid 30 yuan per hour. 

“As a freshman student, I wanted to be more engaged in school activities,” said Ethan Zhao, a student who applied in his freshman year. 

“Also, I’m really curious about career development. If I become a student worker here, I will get more information on choosing my career path.” 

Mu Zhong, a senior student currently working at CDC, had no predetermined desire to do the job. 

“I listened to the introduction about CDC during Orientation Week, and I thought it would be a great experience and a good opportunity if I could work there,” Mu Zhong said.

“At the same time, many of my friends applied for this position, so I wanted to try it out as well.” 

The CDC hiring process consists of two rounds, a one-on-one interview and then a group interview. 

For the first, students present their resumes for discussion with a full-time career coach. But before this, they can do a mock interview with senior student workers to get familiar with the process.

If they pass the first round, they will be invited to the next stage where they will do a role-play as a formal student worker in CDC, with senior student workers acting as potential students seeking advice. They will also be paired with four or five other students to develop and present a marketing plan.

“The whole recruitment process is blended with examining students’ intentions, their motivation, willingness, and passion,” Oscar Zhang said. 

“We are seeking those with high willingness and motivation to help other students. Also, they need to be interested in career development, which will enable them to constantly learn more about CDC resources and services, and to share them with other students.” 

Introduced in the latest job description, CDC student workers have four main responsibilities: (1) Event Marketing, Planning & Support; (2) Guest Services; (3) Research and Data Collection; (4) Administrative Support.

“I learned how to do recaps through mistakes and found my gifts in sorting information and coming up with a logical summary, which is also helpful for my other work experience,” said Mu Zhong.

CDC also aims at creating close relationships among the student workers and helping the student worker body community. 

“I gained a lot of good friends and some of my closest friends in NYU Shanghai are from CDC,” said Bruce Zhang.

But students will also have to do tedious work at CDC. 

“Doing posters, Xiumi, or Canva-related works and revising those posters over and over again can sometimes be a struggle,” said Mu Zhong. These repetitive and boring tasks may sometimes challenge students. 

       Also, the weekly eight hours of work and one-hour meeting are very likely to be a burden to students, especially during their midterm and finals weeks. 

      “We spend many extra working hours supporting events and working on interest groups. If it’s a study-intensive period, the work can sometimes be overwhelming,” said Bruce Zhang.

However, the students who are rejected by CDC don’t always speak highly of it.

“I put a lot of effort into preparing resumes and for interviews. I think I am quite an optimistic person. Even so, I still felt a bit unhappy about the rejection. Over time, I was resistant to anything related to CDC, such as emails or announcements,” said Ethan Zhao, a student who unsuccessfully applied for a CDC role.

     “I only received an email informing me of my failure. It was a polite but useless ‘template’ without explaining the exact reason why I didn’t get in or telling me how I could improve. I hoped CDC could do more than that.”

CDC staff know the recruitment process might be so competitive that it discourages some students.

“We are not intentionally trying to make the process intense or cruel,” said Oscar Zhang. 

“Instead, we remind students not to worry about the results too much and to value the interviews. We hope they can learn something through this application process, which is like a mock exam for their future career application.”