Today: Apr 23, 2024

Trying to thrive in the job market

Mackenzie HurlbertStaff Writer

Coming back home for this holiday break brought back one puzzling question: How am I going to find work? The economy and lack of jobs makes it hard enough for we college students to find work during the holiday and summer breaks, but there is also one other cause for these difficulties.

As a student who lives on campus, the holiday break only provides about a month of free time until I have to go back to school. No employer will want to hire a student and put all the effort into training them just to lose them after three or four weeks. The same applies to summer break, which spans about three full months. So with these time restrictions affecting employers’ opinions along with with gas prices and college costs affecting our wallets, how are we, as college students, supposed to find work?

I was a lucky one who returned to a job this holiday break, but even then, I couldn’t be put on the schedule and could only cover dropped shifts. Other than the regulars taking up the positions, high school students and college commuters had already beaten me to my spot on the schedule, which left me to fill in for the sick, missing or lazy. I worked random hours and sometimes got called and asked to work minutes before the shift started. I shouldn’t be complaining and I am grateful for the work I had. It was just frustrating how being a college student affected my working possibilities.

Internships may provide some stipend and often cater to your college schedule. Often, even an unpaid internship is valuable and provides experience needed to be successful in your future career. As always, when determining whether an internship is for you, you must weigh the pros and cons. I was offered an unpaid internship over this upcoming summer. It was for a magazine company, and a man said he’d squeak me in “under the radar” as an unpaid intern. I’m sure it would’ve provided much valuable experience, but ultimately I decided not to take the position. Not only would I have to sacrifice my summer job as a camp counselor, but the magazine company was based about an hour from my home. In the end I decided too much money would be lost to gas and my sacrificed summer job. Also, being “under the radar” wasn’t really the most encouraging job description.

Although this internship didn’t work out, I do plan on interning later in my college career. The experience provided by these positions in your future career field will be reflected in your resume and leave an impression on future employers.

Seasonal work can also be a possibility for a college student. Summer camps are a great way to enjoy the outdoors during the summer, collect reasonable pay and the position would be a great addition to any resumé, especially for prospective teachers. Other seasonal jobs in my town include working at the Dairy Serve, an ice cream shop that closes for the winter. Also, the orchards around my town hire many more workers during the summer because of tourists and summer events. During the winter many restaurants hire extra bus boys and waitresses because of the holiday rush.

There’s always the possibility of getting a job on campus, but it can get highly competitive. However, the career services page on Southern’s website provides important information on applying for on-campus jobs through the JOBSs online connection. If you try hard enough and search long enough, there can be a paid position out there with your name on it.

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