BUTTE - More and more college students find it necessary to have a part-time job while going to class fulltime, and for one Montana Tech senior here in Butte, the past four years have been both challenging and rewarding juggling both.
“Oh gosh, lots of coffee, lots of coffee and energy drinks,” said Montana Tech senior Ellie Berreth.
Ellie, who is from the Flathead Valley, was recently awarded Student Employee of the Year for both Montana Tech and the state. She was nominated by assistant professor Jessica Daignault whom Ellie has been working for during her senior year.
“So if you’re supporting yourself through school and working in addition to a rigorous curriculum like an engineering program, you’re crushing it. It’s amazing,” said Daignault.
While also working as a professor’s assistant, Ellie has been working at a daycare after classes to help cover the many expenses of college life.
“There’s groceries, there’s cars, and there’s gas, and I have a dog, so there’s my dog, and there’s so many other expenses that go into college,” said Berreth.
She credits her parents for instilling a strong work ethic in her. Having good planning skills also helps.
“My planner’s been my best friend. I planner through everything, it’s the only way to stay organized,” she said.
And while balancing her academic life with her work life has been exhausting, Ellie believes this is going to prepare her for the real world.
“I have classes from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and then I go to work from 5 to 8:30, so it’s like those are full days and I’m prepared for the workplace when I have to work 8, 10, 12-hour shifts,” said Berreth.
Montana Tech has an in-state tuition of about $7,000 and an out-of-state tuition of over $22,0000. Last fall its enrollment was over 2,300 students.