Facilities Operations Management at Western University hired a handful of students to help maintain the campus during the winter.
“We have hired six part-time students to join our crews for winter operations,” Michael Luneau Manager of Landscaping Services said. “Our students are a really big help in the really high priority pedestrian areas. [Salting] staircases and shoveling walkways that separate from buildings.”
Carmen Bertone, Executive Director of Facilities Opertations Management says the department receives approximately 20-30 applications for a winter position.
While the program supports students financially, Luneau says students involved in fields such as landscaping and horticulture are attracted to the job to gain experience and to connect with professionals.
“You are putting yourself in a position with industry professionals looking to hire,” Jim Swanson, a 4th year student in the Richard Ivey School of Business said. “One thing that employers admire is something they like. It’s not just what you are like on paper, but what you are like in person.”
Luneau says the opportunity is a good way for students to try out working in the industry and to see if they want to pursue a career in it.
Unlike the summer operations, students can only work 15 hours rather than 40 hours.
“We’re really giving the students the time they need to support their studies,” Luneau said. “While using their free time to reach the maximum.”
Bertone says that the department has received positive feedback from participants, who often re-apply for a summer position.
“When we hire students, we think of them as part of the family,” Bertone said.