Despite the pandemic, international students on Trinity’s campus have found their employment needs met through a variety of on-campus jobs. Creative Dining and Rolfing are the two main hubs on campus for these students, as well as Facilities and the Thrive Center. Both employers and employees say they have been blessed by the arrangement.
Fresh Café supervisor Marci Reinbrecht noted that Creative Dining is one of the few organizations that does not require its workers to have work-study status. This is what makes it such a popular workplace for international students.
“I love employing international students because I know their work ethics,” Reinbrecht said. “I know that they’re going to do a good job.” Throughout the three years that she has worked in the dining hall and café, she has employed at least two to three international students every semester.
The student workers thoroughly enjoy their experiences as well, especially with regards to one benefit in particular: free food. Emanuel Andújar, an international student from the Dominican Republic and a junior majoring in Athletic Training, says that he appreciates the thoughtfulness expressed in Creative Dining. “The people here think of you and every so often make you something special,” Andújar said with a smile.
Leadership major Luiz Henriquez, another international student from the Dominican Republic, agrees. “I like how friendly the people who work there are, and the relationships I have with them,” he said.
Rolfing Library is also a popular spot for international students. Manikanta Sai Ankem, originally from Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, India, is a TEDS student who has completed his Doctor of Ministry and is currently majoring in New Testament. He is also the President for the Fellowship of International Students. After working at Fresh cCafé and waiting for a Rolfing opening for four years, his opportunity came in 2020, and he says that his job is extremely helpful with his academics. “I get to see a lot of books and become aware of what resources are available, which helps with what I am studying,” he said.
Ahyuwani Akanet, a Rolfing Library Circulation Shift Manager and a TEDS student from Nigeria, says that his job’s benefits have reached beyond the workplace too. “My job gives me an opportunity to serve my fellow students and provides a platform to sharpen my leadership skills. I come to work on weekday evenings or weekends and supervise the running of the library until it’s closed for the evening. I supervise other students,” he explained. “In the process, I have learned leadership skills, including empathy, collaboration, delegation, patience, goal-setting, connectedness, and flexibility.”
Marci thinks hiring even more international students in Creative Dining would be “phenomenal.” God’s provision for Trinity’s international students through on-campus jobs is a powerful example that even in the midst of COVID-19, He is faithful.