Student employment at OU Recreation and Well-Being

14107704_1407681272579630_302131809219938346_oOakland University Recreation and Well-Being employs approximately 150 students a year, making it the second-largest student employer on campus next to university housing. The Rec Center offers a variety of positions, giving students several opportunities to build on their current skills, as well as learn new ones.

“There’s so many different employment opportunities within University Recreation, and each position is a great compliment to a student’s education,” Marie VanBuskirk, coordinator of student development, said. “On campus employment is a great way for students to develop their transferable skills outside of the classroom to complement their academic degree.”

Working for University Recreation also provides students with an opportunity to make friends, join organizations like the Recreation and Leadership Council and attend professional development sessions.  Additionally current Rec Center employees have the ability to apply for promotions and attend leadership training to gain additional leadership skills and that may give them a competitive advantage for their future careers.

This year over, 170 students are employed at the Rec, which VanBuskirk said is the most they’ve had in the last 3 years.

“The biggest skill we stress with student employment is the impact of being able to articulate and develop their transferable skills,” VanBuskirk said. She added that when students graduate, they have the same degree as everyone else. The difference maker is the ability to articulate skills learned throughout one’s college career like the ability to work in a team structure, having excellent communication skills or being able to reference a time where you successfully solved a problem or influenced others.

Students interested in working at the Rec Center should begin researching and applying for positions two to three months in advance, according the VanBuskirk, because the hiring and training process is time consuming.  We truly invest in our employees through training.

She explained that fall positions are typically hired during summer months and winter positions are typically hired by October. For summer employment, they look for students who would like to stay at the Rec Center through the entire school year.

VanBuskirk also said the department does its largest recruiting push is at its student information session held during winter semester. This year’s info-session will be on Thursday, February 16 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. in Studio 919 of the Oakland University Recreation Center.

The info-session is a good time for students to learn more about positions offered at the Rec. They also do on-the-spot interviews, and promising candidates will be invited back for final interviews.

Students interested in applying for any of the positions must submit a Rec Well application and email it to Marie VanBuskirk (, or drop it off at the Welcome Desk of the Rec Center.

Below is a list of all positions offered at the Rec, along with a description of what each position entails and if there are any requirements for applying. Any position that is open for hiring will be listed on Handshake, which students can access through Career Service.

Member services assistant

  • Provide a welcoming atmosphere and excellent customer service to all patrons
  • Control access to the Rec Center
  • Enforce departmental policies and procedures
  • Hand out/collect rental equipment
  • Perform monetary transactions for locker rentals and other items
  • Provide information about services, programs and memberships at the Rec Center
  • Conduct membership intake and occasional facility tours

*Previous cash handling and customer service preferred; must be willing to obtain CPR/First Aid Certification upon hire

Building manager

  • Responsible for the general oversight of the Rec Center and its usage by patrons and user groups
  • Enforce all departmental policies, procedures, rules and regulations
  • Ensure a safe and enjoyable recreational environment
  • Provide leadership and assistance to part-time staff, quality customer service and appropriate care in emergency situations

*Position is only open at specific times; must be willing to obtain CPR/First Aid Certification upon hire

Fitness center assistant

  • Supervise activity within the Fitness Center and Court 3 and 5 Fitness
  • Enforce rules and policies throughout all fitness areas and programs
  • Provide customer service to patrons by assisting with exercises and form as requested
  • Answer questions related to fitness
  • Perform preventative maintenance on fitness-related equipment
  • Instruct various fitness programs and services (Fitness Center orientations, fitness assessments, drop-in body compositions, etc.)

*Must be willing to obtain First Aid/CPR/AED Certification upon hire

Facility operations crew

  • Assist with maintaining building/equipment cleanliness and functionality
  • Help with building setups and teardowns for events, event monitoring and Outdoor Complex play surface maintenance

*Must be willing to obtain First Aid/CPR/AED Certification upon hire

Intramural sports official

  • Implement intramural policies and sports rules in order to maintain a level of control, fairness and safety during competition

*Familiarity with sports/previous participation in intramural sports leagues is preferred  


  • Ensure the safety of all patrons using the Aquatic Center facilities
  • Enforce all facility rules and regulations
  • Provide excellent customer service to all patrons
  • Perform light cleaning duties around the pool deck

*Must have current American Red Cross Lifeguard Training certification prior to being hired

GroupX instructor

  • Provide fun, safe and effective environment in GroupX classes that caters to all fitness levels and abilities
  • Have the ability to think quickly, creatively and without judgment

*Certification in Group Exercise instruction by a reputable agency is preferred; must be willing to obtain First Aid/CPR/AED Certification upon hire

**Instruction of specialized classes (cardio/strength, dance, yoga/pilates, kickboxing, cycling are offered

Graphic design intern

  • Assist the marketing graduate assistant with the creation of print and digital media for University Recreation and Well-Being

Red Cross CPR/AED instructor / Lifeguard Instructor

  • Instruct American Red Cross Adult and Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED, CPR/AED for Professional Rescuer and Health Care Providers, or Lifeguard Training classes

*Must be an American Red Cross certified instructor in either First Aid/CPR/AED, CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer and Health Care Provider or Lifeguard

Social media/blog intern

  • Manage department’s blog
  • Assign articles
  • Assist the marketing graduate assistant with the creation of any written media for the department

Personal trainer

  • Provide participants with a personally designed, safe and effective personal training session
  • Be able to cater to all fitness levels and capabilities
  • Design and oversee training sessions around clients goals and needs
  • Think quickly, creatively and without judgment

*Certification in personal training by a reputable agency is required

**Must be willing to obtain First Aid/CPR/AED Certification upon hire


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