by Monique Cortez
College students often act unprofessionally in work study environments, or in some cases, at their actual job as well. The lack of work ethic could be the result of numerous occurrences, such as surroundings, peers, and the structure of the overall job. An interview with Emily Yglesias, a former employee at Our Lady of the Lake University’s library, tells us about her own experiences with the loss of professionalism as a work study employee. Yglesias was asked if she felt there was a lack of reinforcement from the supervisors to get the employees to act more professional and she responded with, “sometimes it was. I worked with three different supervisors, and two of which have been managers outside of the school, so they had to work more professionally. So, they knew what it was like to work with people who are unprofessional, and they’re just working for students so there’s not much to it”, which might give the impression that the faculty at the library is influencing their student employees to think nonchalantly of their work because they are mostly only surrounded by people their age.
However, this idea is crushed by Yglesias’ next statement when asked if she thought the fact that they are working for students made them react unprofessionally in the work setting, she said, “a little bit, but the students abused the power by saying ‘Oh I’m sick’ and my boss was like ‘Oh, it’s okay’ constantly, while my supervisors were like, ‘no it’s not okay because we know that student is abusing their power’. I think the three supervisors could not enforce it very much since they weren’t our bosses”. The students see their own work as nothing special, because it is simply a work study and not a “real” job, which makes them act unprofessionally. Since the employees are students, the supervisors have to deal with juvenile excuses and have really no room to enforce a firm set of rules or standards. Students unprofessional work ethic may come from within themselves or their environment, but there really is no excuse for it at all. A job is a job, regardless where it is.