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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Feven Getachew
Feven Getachew
May 6, 2024
Michael Lozada
Michael Lozada
May 6, 2024
Nathan Hoffman
Nathan Hoffman
May 6, 2024
Harvey Wilhelm `24.
Harvey Wilhelm
May 6, 2024

Off-campus workers “pop” the Grinnell college bubble

Ohana Sarvotham
For student workers, off-campus work can present a chance to prepare for life after college and build relationships with the community.

Between academic, athletic, club and on-campus job involvement, Grinnell students breathe air into a communal bubble that envelopes and surrounds the College. Many students choose to work off campus as a means to pop the bubble and break into the broader Grinnell community while building valuable skills within the town. 

“It’s really easy to get caught in this Grinnell bubble. It’s a little suffocating for me sometimes to be with the same 2,000 people every single day,” Katya Lackey `27 said. 

She works as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) for the Grinnell Fire Department, reporting to scenes of medical emergencies throughout the town.

“I really like being an EMT. It’s a job that is really fulfilling and fun to me,” Lackey said. She also works as a German tutor but is limited in how much she can work on campus — the College limits on-campus jobs to 20 hours per week. The additional hours and pay that Lackey enjoys off campus allows her to work around this limitation. 

Working at Dari Barn, Jane Hoffman `25 has also enjoyed “expanding her horizons” and connecting with community members beyond campus. 

Balancing on-campus and off-campus work, Jane Hoffman `24 gets a taste of Dari Barn and the Global Kitchen. (Brisa Zielina)

“When I came to college, I knew I wanted to live in a place where I could be a part of both the school community and the town community,” Hoffman said. 

Hoffman chose to pursue an off-campus job because she desired higher wages. When she began working at Dari Barn during her first year at the College, the minimum wage for on-campus employment was $9.25 – it has since been increased to $13 in the current academic year. 

Like Lackey, Hoffman also works on- and off-campus jobs simultaneously. She works as a mentor in the Global Kitchen, which she said gives her an opportunity to explore her passions on campus. 

Arlo Beckman ’24 and Sam Pokharel ’25 both expressed that their jobs at McNally’s Foods have connected them to students, professors and community members in an off-campus environment.

“I really enjoy getting the chance to meet people in the town. I think a lot of students go through their four years here and don’t really get to experience Grinnell,” Beckman said. 

“If I was getting paid more on campus, I still think I would prefer to work at McNally’s Foods because of the relationships I’ve built there with the owner and my managers,” Pokharel added.

She has also built relationships with community members through the McNally’s Foods community poster board, where community members advertise events.

“It makes me more involved outside of campus. On campus, it allows me to be more involved because of my flexibility with my McNally’s Foods schedule,” Pokharel said. 

Sasha Grigorovich ’20, Careers, Life and Service (CLS) exploratory advisor, said that “there is a lot of value that comes from meeting people in the community rather than just sticking to the College.”

Katya Lackey `27 reports to emergency scenes as an EMT in fire department duds. (Brisa Zielina)

However, Grigorovich mentioned that most on-campus jobs are likely more accommodating than off-campus ones since they are directly linked to the College and offer students more flexibility to address academic commitments. 

He also said that “a lot of on-campus jobs are really geared to be learning experiences for students. There really isn’t a bottom line of needing to turn a profit.” 

Despite this, Grigorovich said that working off campus prepares students for work after college. 

“I think it is very important to learn from different places other than just the classroom,” Grigorovich said.

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About the Contributors
Addie Persian
Addie Persian, Staff Writer
Addie is a first year from a town smaller than Grinnell (yes, it’s possible) in the middle of Minnesota. She enjoys playing tennis, shopping, eating sour candy, and going to the casino; all of which are definitely not an addiction… She is intending to major in psychology and/or political science and loves to write both scientifically and journalistically.
Meilynn Smith
Meilynn Smith, Staff Photographer
Meilynn is a first-year from Vancouver, Washington. She is an intended biology major and wants to go into physical therapy in the future. She enjoys playing soccer, hanging out with friends, going on hikes, and photographing wildlife. 
Brisa Zielina
Brisa Zielina, Staff Photographer
Brisa Zielina is a first year and an aspiring Theater major with a concentration in American Studies from Los Angeles, California. She loves singing and acting and uses the word “slay” way too often. When she’s not slaying the day, she’s probably in rehearsal or studying on the third floor of the HSSC. If you see her around campus, say howdy, she’s always happy to make new friends!
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