Student workers gain experience at Penn State Brandywine

Chevelle Thomas is a Penn State Brandywine Lion Ambassador.

As a Brandywine Lion Ambassador, Chevelle Thomas provides tours for prospective students and their families, as well as supports the admissions staff at various campus events. 

Credit: Michael McDade

MEDIA, Pa. — Student workers are an integral part of campus life at Penn State Brandywine. While gaining valuable skills and experience, they also provide support in critical areas of campus operations, including Student Affairs, tech support, food services and Lion Ambassadors. Four Brandywine student workers explained their on-campus job duties and how their employment opportunities benefit them.

Brianna Benditt: Blue Apple Café

Brianna Benditt works in Penn State Brandywine's Blue Apple Café.

A residential student, Brianna Benditt has found a great network of friends and co-workers through her job at the campus' Blue Apple Café. 

Credit: Michael McDade

When Brianna Benditt first applied for an on-campus job, she knew that she wanted to get more than a paycheck out of the experience.

“I was looking for a way to make some friends,” said Benditt, a freshman who lives on campus in Orchard Hall. “I didn’t know anybody, and I was worried that it would take me a while to meet people on campus.”

Benditt, who had specific interest in the food prep industry, applied and was selected for a student worker position at the Blue Apple Café, which is operated by Housing and Food Services. Her duties include food prep, dish washing, stocking the serving stations, and running the cash register.

“It really depends on who else is working and what is going on behind the scenes,” she said.

Three months into her campus job, Benditt has found a great network of friends and co-workers, just as she hoped. Some of them even live on the same floor as her in Orchard Hall. More importantly, she has found a place where her Penn State journey is supported. 

“We’re like a family,” she said. “There’s always someone to joke around or give me advice. When I have a difficult class, my supervisors make sure I’m getting spare time to study. It’s easy to make good friends when you’re all working and studying together.”

Terri Quiambao: Student Affairs

Penn State Brandywine student Terri Quiambao works in the Office of Student Affairs.

Brandywine student Terri Quiambao supports the campus' Office of Student Affairs in several ways, such as staffing the Student Union welcome center and helping with office tasks.

Credit: Michael McDade

Terri Quiambao, an information sciences and technology major, has learned the value of customer service and lending a hand through working with the Office of Student Affairs. Her daily duties range from staffing the Student Union welcome center to helping with office tasks.

“A lot of people think we’re just sitting at a desk all day,” said Quiambao. “It’s actually much more involved than that.”

Quiambao works with four other student workers. Together, they are responsible for helping with event prep, designing flyers, running errands, watching the front desk, and supplying information about upcoming programs to students.

In addition to the flexibility of her campus job, Quiambao enjoys making a real-time impact as part of Student Affairs.

“It feels like I’m helping out,” she said. “We are resources from student life, and I love answering people’s questions. I feel at home working there.”

Sebastian Adebanjo: Information Technology Services (ITS)

Sebastian Adebanjo of Penn State Brandywine.

Information sciences and technology major Sebastian Adebanjo is gaining relevant work experience as a work-study student in Brandywine’s information technology services department. 

Credit: Michael McDade

As a work-study student, Sebastian Adebanjo first heard about his student worker position through Brandywine’s PaSSS Program, which gives qualified incoming students a chance to earn early college credits and find work on campus.

“As a work-study student on stipend, I’m able to gauge how much I need to work to earn everything the stipend affords me,” said Adebanjo. “It’s a very useful program.”

The IST major wears several hats as part of Brandywine’s information technology services department. He offers walk-in tech support services to students, faculty and staff; checks the computer labs; and troubleshoots for people experiencing technical difficulties.

According to Adebanjo, the job has several benefits, including “we get to talk with a lot of different students and teachers.”

Brandywine’s ITS department is unique for one other reason: all of the full-time employees are Penn State graduates. Some of them are even former Brandywine students.

“They all know the expectations for students because they were once in that position themselves,” said Adebanjo.

Chevelle Thomas: Lion Ambassadors and Blue Apple Café

Chevelle Thomas is a Penn State Brandywine Lion Ambassador.

As a Brandywine Lion Ambassador, Chevelle Thomas provides tours for prospective students and their families, as well as supports the admissions staff at various campus events. 

Credit: Michael McDade

Chevelle Thomas has two jobs on campus — and that’s not all. The Brandywine junior, who is currently studying psychology, is also vice president of the Student Government Association, president of Lion Ambassadors (LAMBS), and sits on the Student Activities Fee committee. Previously, she has served as an orientation leader, tutor and peer mentor.

Because of her busy schedule, the selling point for her campus jobs was convenience.

“I don’t leave campus, which means I don’t have to worry about commuting time or gas costs,” said Thomas. “At the café, my schedule is consistent the whole semester. Most off-campus jobs change schedules every week.”

Thomas is a shift leader at the Blue Apple Café, overseeing other student workers and serving wherever she is needed. With LAMBS, she gives tours of campus to prospective students and their families.

Since Thomas represents the campus in a number of student leadership positions, she chose jobs that would allow her to get to know the Brandywine community better.

“When high school students tour campus, I am one of the first faces they see — and at Blue Apple, I get to interact with students all day long,” she said. “I learn their names faster. I know their orders. I also get to see faculty and staff come through the café.”

She also credits her student worker experience with giving her direction for the future.

“A lot of students write off campus jobs as unimportant or unlucrative, but they are great experience in real world positions,” she said. “Because of working different jobs, I’ve learned more about where I want to work and what sort of environment I value.”

For more information about student worker positions at Penn State Brandywine, visit Penn State’s job search website.