By Courtney True

Being a PACE student was one of the best things to happen to me in college. A PACE position is a Federal Aid program that helps students with less privileged financial situations work and earn money while also attending school. You are notified if you qualify for this through FAFSA. However, PACE is more than your ordinary job on campus; this program gives so many opportunities to explore internship-like work, which is unique to Ohio University.

As a PACE student, so many opportunities opened up in my area of study. I am interactive design major (i.e. graphic/web design, coding) within the School of Visual Communications. In this program we are required to complete a 400-hour internship to graduate. PACE helped me fulfill this requirement and without it I probably wouldn’t graduate on time10923656_10205270573140088_1044198746717114372_n because I changed majors as a junior. When I checked the list of open positions, there were at least 10 different openings for graphic designers in different departments! So I crossed my fingers and waited for an interview. I received eight different interviews in two weeks… I am not kidding you. Not only did the PACE program help me get a job, but it improved my interview skills.

After a few weeks, I got four offers back to be a graphic designer! This gave me such a confidence boost and helped me be more confident in my upcoming interviews. But back to these four offers… I couldn’t decide which department to work for. All four were awesome, and the employers were so welcoming. I ended up narrowing it down to two: Residential Housing and the Career & Leadership Development Center. I couldn’t make up my mind- so I asked if I could work for both departments. I got the chance to work with Residential Housing in the summer and the CLDC during the 2014-2015 school year. It was the best decision I could have ever made.

So many benefits came with being a PACE student. In a list, here’s what being a PACE student did for me:

  1. Opportunity to work and earn money while attending school
  2. Tons of interview experience
  3. Confidence booster for future interviews
  4. Being conflicted and resolving what job would best fit me
  5. Building up my resume/portfolio
  6. Working in a professional environment
  7. Meeting new people and working with helpful colleagues/mentors
  8. Networking opportunities
  9. Completion of my internship requirement

Being a PACE student is one of the BEST opportunities that ever happened to me in my college experience. I recommend checking to see if you qualify, you won’t regret it!

If you qualify, positions open up every spring semester to apply. You can visit here to learn more about PACE: http://www.ohio.edu/financialaid/employment/emp_pace.cfm

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