HuskerWork is an on-campus employment program that aims to increase student retention and promote career readiness and skill development for student employees through the delivery of a curated career and professional development curriculum. Student employees will participate in interactive modules that will provide opportunities to engage and develop essential skills for their future professions.
The program aims to accomplish the following objectives:
- Increase student retention at UNL and within on-campus employment.
- Provide students with access to professional development curriculum and learning.
- Support students as they develop essential professional skillsets to be used at an on-campus job.
- Empower students to leverage their on-campus experience to obtain further opportunities.
To sign your department or division up for HuskerWork or to learn more, please complete this form.
Benefits for Students
Student employees will participate in monthly interactive modules that will facilitate opportunities to engage, reflect and develop essential skills like communication, teamwork, and problem-solving.
- Provide students with interactive activities that facilitate career growth and learning.
- Support students as they develop essential professional skillsets to be used at an on-campus job and beyond.
- Empower students to develop & leverage their on-campus experience to obtain further opportunities.
Student Testimonial“These modules are helpful because they allow for thorough discussion and dissection of different facets of life that are often overlooked. Before HuskerWork, I didn’t bother to think about how I communicated and how to improve it. I also didn’t often think of my personality as it pertains to teamwork, and this allowed me to see my strengths and how I benefit a team.”
Student Module Feedback“The module was helpful for working at the library. I liked watching the Ted Talk and getting good examples and ideas for problem solving at work!”
Benefits for Employers
Employers who engage in the HuskerWork program can benefit in the following ways:
- Support the development of career goals and career self-efficacy in students within HuskerWork will positively impact the retention of these students at UNL.
- Provide regular professional development may positively impact your employee engagement and reduce student employee turnover.
- Facilitate opportunities that build and grow student skills, self-belief, and determination to take on more in their roles within your units.
Requirements for On-Campus Employers:
•Commit to posting open jobs in Handshake between June 1st and August 1st each summer for incoming students to become aware of these opportunities earlier during their New Student Enrollment sessions.
• Pay student employees for their time spent completing the modules.
• Identify a Husker Work Manager who will communicate with department supervisors within the unit
• Participate in HuskerWorkManager meetings for further support and sharing of successes, challenges, and implementation strategies with fellow Husker Work Managers and UCS.
Employer Endorsement:“Last year, the University Libraries were considering ways to enhance our student workers’ professional development opportunities. We were pleased when Career Services offered us the opportunity to work with them to develop HuskerWork as professional development program. The collaboration has worked very well. Career Services asked our supervisors what themes would be best for the students and the Libraries. They made our needs a priority and developed excellent teaching modules through Canvas. The sessions were effective and did not take too much time. We have been pleased with the outcomes and will continue with HuskerWork.”
— Tom McFarland, University Libraries
Staff Development Program Officer
The HuskerWork Curriculum
HuskerWork is a curated career and professional development curriculum delivered monthly through interactive modules through a Canvas site.
Current and future* topics for modules include:
- Professional Communication
- Problem Solving
- Growth Mindset & Resilience*
- Personal & Professional Branding*
- Creativity and Adaptability
- Career & Major Exploration*
Research Supporting Campus Employment
• Campus employment has been shown to positively impact retention (Yeh, 2010). Programs that incorporate personal and professional development opportunities for students may strengthen this impact (Fede, Gorman & Cimini 2018).
• Betz and Klein (1996) found that students’ career self-efficacy is associated with generalized self-efficacy as well as global self-esteem. This finding reinforces the notion that student retention in college is related to a number of universal factors, one of which being career self-efficacy. Hull-Banks et al, 2005 found that the presence of long-term goals, such as career goals, positively predicted academic performance significantly. As indicated in Tinto’s (1993) model of student attrition, students’ goals, both initially and throughout time, strongly influence decisions to remain in school. Furthermore, students who felt more confident about obtaining career-relevant information and solving career-related problems were more intrinsically motivated and were more satisfied with the major they had selected (Komarraju, Swanson, Nadler, 2013). Ultimately, research shows a very clear connection between student academic and career self-efficacy and retention. Campus employment and professional development programs only strengthen this relationship.
How is HuskerWork different than HuskerGrow?Many have asked to provide some clarification about how HuskerGrow and HuskerWork connect and complement one another.
HuskerWork engages student employees through monthly interactive professional development modules completed by the student individually to actively build professional development skills.HuskerGrow enhances and compliments the student’s growth by helping to make connections between their work experiences and the professional skills they’re acquiring, and their future career goals through “Grow Conversations” at the beginning and end of the semester with a supervisor.Career Services encourages departments to consider participation in both programs to maximize the professional development opportunities for their student employees.
How long do student workers spend per month on HuskerWork?Students typically spend between 30-60 minutes on each module, which is released at the beginning of each month.
What is a HuskerWork Manager?A HuskerWork Manager is someone from your own department or unit who coordinates HuskerWork internally. They would be responsible for answering questions from supervisors or students about HuskerWork and ensuring participation each month. University Career Services will be in touch regularly with each HuskerWork Manager to provide support, guidance and answer questions.
What if we hire students after the semester started, can they still participate in HuskerWork?Yes! Students can participate in HuskerWork at any point during a semester.
How will we know if our student workers are participating in HuskerWork?Each HuskerWork Manager will receive a list each week of which students have completed that month’s module.
Each HuskerWork module aims to develop a specific professional skill in a holistic and comprehensive way. In order to provide maximum benefit to the student and the department they’re in, we’ve broken down each module into the following parts:
- For each professional skill, the beginning of the module provides instruction, insight and knowledge for the student about that particular skill in a work context
- We utilize videos, articles and activities to help the students strengthen their abilities in these professional skills
- Next, we encourage the student to apply this professional skill to their on-campus employment
- This is done through reflection questions, quizzes and collaborative message boards that support the student’s exploration into how to apply the professional skill to their work
Future Career Application
- Finally, students get the opportunity to apply the professional skills they’re learning about to their future career
- This allows students’ to practice applying their experiences using professional skills in their on-campus work to their future careers