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Most college students work for pay while enrolled, however theoretical and methodological concerns with the extant literature make it nearly impossible to understand how employment affects students. Responding to those shortcomings, I designed a validation study with robust statistical methods to examine relationships between student employment and leadership in a sample of nearly 36,000 students across 87 colleges and universities, recognizing that paid work provides an equitable, skills-focused environment in which students may refine and practice their own leadership skills. Findings suggest that working while enrolled is associated with lower self-reported capacity for socially responsible leadership and that this association varies across on-campus workplace locations and institutional characteristics. Recommendations are offered for supervisors to effectively incorporate socially responsible leadership into student employment structures and tasks.