Hannah Nelligan, '20

Hannah Nelligan stands in front of pergola

Rockhurst holds many work-study positions for students. These positions are meant for students to be able to hold flexible jobs on campus while being able to focus on schoolwork. For junior Hannah Nelligan, this position happens to be on the grounds crew. Nelligan, who was looking for a work-study position at the time, started this job last summer after receiving an email with information about the position.

“Since I’m from around here, I can commute and do stuff. When I originally applied, I went into it just to get a job on campus because I still wanted to be close to here,” Nelligan said.

While the position is considered work-study during the school year, Nelligan has the option to work more hours during the summer.

“Over the summer it’s considered a part-time, almost full-time job. If I wasn’t enrolled in school right now I would be working 40 hour weeks,” Nelligan said. “During the school year, it comes in as work-study.”

During the school year, Nelligan has the opportunity to shape her work schedule around her school schedule.

“Last year, as soon as classes would end, I’d go change and I’d go clock in and I would just do whatever (Matt Young, Grounds Foreman) needed me to do. My main job in late spring and all the way through summer and early fall is to water all of the pots,” Nelligan said. “After that, I’m free to help with whatever they need.”

That flexibility comes in handy for Nelligan, who is involved in several organizations across campus, including Alpha Phi Omega, the service fraternity, and social mentors, among others. Nelligan has learned how to manage her time between her job, school and extracurriculars with the help of her boss.

“My planner is my best friend. Even in the summer. I cannot go without it,” Nelligan said. “It helps that my boss Matt is super lenient and communicates very well. If there’s anything I need, he’s there. It’s a nice combo between him helping and then the planner.”

Having a job that is flexible just adds to the list of things Nelligan likes about working with grounds crew.

“Anything big or small, even if we’re just weeding the big Arrupe beds, there’s a satisfaction and reward to it,” Nelligan said. “Seeing how we started with something small, but ended up with something that could be more resourceful for our students and even faculty and staff. It’s amazing.”

In addition to the work she gets to do, Nelligan also enjoys the people she works with.

“My favorite part would have to be my coworkers. It’s hard to go out here and work in 100-degree weather, and it’s easy to get mad at each other. With my coworkers, we’ve created an environment where we all get along and we can kind of mess with each other. It’s fun. It definitely has its benefits,” Nelligan said.

Working with a fun, yet diverse, group of people has helped Nelligan adapt to different situations.

“I’ve increased my ability to work with other people because it’s such a diverse group that you kind of have to adapt to the situation,” Nelligan said.

Working on the grounds crew team is not easy work, but Nelligan has stuck with it for nearly a year because of the flexible work environment, the love for Rockhurst’s campus and the people she gets to work with.

“The further I went along, there was more of a reason of why I stayed, than why I came. It was the fact that one of the main reasons I came here was because of how much I fell in love with campus and how beautiful it is,” Nelligan said. “I thoroughly enjoy being able to participate and maintain the campus and the beauty behind it. That’s the main reason why I stick with it and I keep doing it even despite the manual labor.”

Despite the hard work, Nelligan would recommend this on campus job to anyone considering.

“As long as you are willing to get dirty and be outside all day. Please, by all means, go for it. It’s amazing. If there’s anyone who is considering, go for it. I would never regret it in a million years,” Nelligan said.