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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

JOURNAL: Everyday Workers

Photo by Isabel Bonebrake
Student workers balance their jobs with school and extracurriculars.

Although Marquette University consists of many faculty and staff members, students are also everyday workers within the Marquette community to help ensure the university is functioning smoothly.

Academics can take up a lot of a student’s time, but students who are employed balance school and their job. 

Elena Proos, a shift lead at the Brew Café and sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences, says when she arrives at work, she comes ready and focused, so that when she leaves she is able to concentrate fully on school.

“I just keep them separate, but it’s also nice because I come here and I know it’s going to be a break and I don’t have to worry about anything else,” Proos says.

One person who’s grateful for teaching him time management is Justin Manzanet, student manager at the Brew Café and junior in the College of Arts & Sciences. Manzanet says learning this skill on the job helped him understand how to balance school, activities, work and other events at the same time.

Despite having things to do outside of work, on campus jobs also help students create a sense of community at Marquette. 

Proos said the most memorable part of her job is being able to meet so many wonderful people.

“You work with the same people every week and you get to form such great relationships because you’re with them every week in really stressful circumstances sometimes, but getting to know the people that work here has been the most rewarding thing ever,” Proos says.

Rachel Wang, shift lead and a sophomore in the College of Health Sciences, agrees with Proos and enjoys being able to meet new people through her job.

“Meet the different people from different majors, different years, different backgrounds and they’re all from different places,” Wang says.

Julia Krzyzak, a shift lead at the Brew Café and a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences, says that they’re lucky they have a leadership position at their job because it helps them learn how to foster a more welcoming environment when they hire new employees. 

“I’m working with all of the new hires to make sure they feel more comfortable in their position and they feel more a part of the Brew family and more welcomed,” Krzyzak says.

Even though many student workers say there are many positives to having a campus job, there are also challenges.

Manzanet says despite being a student, he still has a lot of responsibilities within his job.

“Working with people the same age as us and being a role model to them is probably the hardest thing, just because we’re the same age, so they might not look up to you, but we go past that by showing them how we work and how hard we work,” Manzanet says.

Krzyzak says making sure she remains organized on the job is crucial to remain on track with the amount of things she needs to do.

“When a lot of people come in at once it can get really stressful, really overwhelming, really easy for me to just kind of shut down and feel really overwhelmed with everything,” Krzyzak says. “Just making sure that you take your time and understand that if it takes a little bit longer for you to make a drink correctly, then you can take extra few seconds to make sure that the customer gets what they want.”

The campus isn’t ran only by student-workers. Faculty and staff work day and night to ensure Marquette is functioning smoothly. 

Cynthia Byrd and Prudence “Prudy” Fojut, are both cashiers at the Commons dining hall. 

Byrd says the best part about her job is interacting with the students.

“What motivates me is to come in here and to help someone,” Byrd says. “I’m in the helping business, I help people that’s what I do, so any time I can come in and make someone have a good day- that makes my day.”

Fojut agrees with Byrd and says she enjoys giving the students advice throughout their day.

“Talking to the kids, giving them advice on how to handle the exams, how to get themselves to … have faith in themselves, and instead of ‘oh my gosh I’ve got this big old test and I really don’t know what to do,’ well, have faith in yourself, study smart and do your best,” Fojut says.

Yet, Byrd says she also enjoys her job because she can help ensure every student has a better day.

“Then when you come down here [to the Commons Dining Hall], I wanna try to make you have a good day, with a smile- I try to always keep a smile on my face and [do] whatever I can do to help make you have a better day,” Byrd says.

Even while helping the students, Byrd says they also help her. One student has been trying to teach Byrd how to speak Spanish, and she says her progress in the language is going well.

“I learned how to say ‘good morning’ in Spanish, so that was one of the things,” Byrd says. “I learn a lot from you all … so that makes me have a good day.”

Fojut says she loves the way the students greet her and have fun with her.

“Oh yeah I like being at work- this is like my home. I feel this is like my home,” Fojut says.

Many campus workers say it’s easy to overlook those who work behind the scenes to maintain the campus, but there are many ways everyone can ensure they feel recognized and appreciated for all of their hard work. 

This story was written by Julia Abuzzahab and Hannah Hernandez. They can be reached at [email protected] and [email protected] 

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About the Contributor
Julia Abuzzahab
Julia Abuzzahab, Executive Projects Editor
Julia Abuzzahab is a senior from Wausau, Wisconsin studying journalism and film and media studies and is the Executive Projects Editor of the Marquette Wire for the 2023-2024 school year. Prior to this position, she served as the Executive News Editor for the organization. Outside of the Wire, she enjoys playing piano and seeing her friends. She is most excited to see all of the work her and her team accomplish this year and spending time with her friends in the newsroom.  

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