Being a student during a pandemic is a challenge; that challenge is multiplied when the student also works in a hospital. Libraries student employee Melisa Hajdar (pictured above) has been balancing her schoolwork, being a patient care tech, and working at the library as a government information assistant. Although she normally works in the Oncology Ward, as the pandemic progressed she was called on more to work with Covid patients. As a student majoring in nursing and human development she knows the importance of self-isolating as much as possible due to Covid, which meant being unable to see her family from Pelican Rapids for seven months.
Working at a hospital during a pandemic is undeniably challenging, but the experience has shown Melisa that she is more capable than she realized and it has opened up new career possibilities. Melisa is a planner and has her days organized weeks in advance. This drive allowed her to add an internship with Cass County Extension where she works as a parent educator and in the office. She is also applying for the PHD in Developmental Science, a degree she plans to start concurrent with her nursing program. She has a great deal of work to come, but Melisa has experience with juggling multiple programs. She was enrolled in college classes during high school and earned an associate’s degree by the time she was eighteen years old. Although her focus was nursing, now she is also considering public health and education.
Melisa has found working at the library to be an enjoyable break from her other work, allowing a complete shift away from the stress. The library offered a flexible work schedule as well as a project she could work on at home during the worst of the pandemic; this allowed her to balance her work, studies, a shifting hospital schedule, and being on call.
Melisa gives 100% of herself to whatever she does and takes advantage of any valuable opportunities that come her way. As a first generation American she is very aware of the struggles her Bosnian parents went through and the prospects that were not available to them. We are lucky to have Melisa working in the library, and should her plans for a PHD progress as she plans, we may keep this caring and conscientious student worker for a few more years.
Melisa stated, "Being an undergraduate student at NDSU has opened me to several opportunities, including being a student worker. These experiences have made me realize that I'm capable of more than I ever thought possible."