Students seize the sunny day to cash in

    Many students find themselves counting their last few dollars as school winds down, so they seek out summer jobs and internships to gain money and experience.

    Kenrick Leung
    Guardian

    Unlike the good ol’ days where summer was meant only for play and not work, during college many are determined to rid themselves of the title “”starving student.””

    “”I think that once you’ve gotten to college you realize how far a dollar doesn’t go,”” said Revelle College freshman Stephanie Tsukamoto. “”I will therefore be working 40 hours a week again this summer. I hate my job but it pays decently, so I can’t complain too much.””

    Along with a paycheck, summer jobs also provide students with work experience that can boost a resume and also teach valuable skills.

    “”Last summer, I worked at Nordstrom. They really stress the importance of customer service, so I had really good training in customer relations,”” said Earl Warrren College sophomore Carrie Lew.

    Certain jobs or internships also give students academic credit for working, which is another plus to having a summer job. But as desirable as summer jobs are, obtaining one is not easy.

    “”There are limited opportunities nowadays and it makes it more difficult now to find a summer job. Because of how our economy is now, employers cannot afford to hire someone temporarily and retrain someone else to take their spot,”” said Employment Development Department employee Dora Luna.

    Resources for finding summer jobs are fairly plentiful, despite limited job opportunities. UCSD’s Career Services Center offers many resources to help find and snag a summer job.

    “”Our job listings include summer job and internship opportunities, and those often extend to California locations beyond San Diego. In addition, our internship supersite contains a wealth of related information,”” said Internship Coordinator Shannon Roberts. “”Students can also consult our career advisors for assistance and tips. The new Port Triton feature on our Web site is every UCSD job seeker’s best friend.””

    The Internet has become a popular place to find summer jobs of all sorts. Some larger, well-known Web sites include http://www.monster.com, http://www.collegegrad.com, and http://www.snagajob.com.

    There are also Web sites that specialize in certain areas of focus. For the more adventurous types, http://www.coolworks.com offers jobs at wilderness parks, amusement parks, lodges and resorts. The Web site, http://www.studentjobs.gov, allows students to search for government related jobs and http://www.showbizjobs.com contains jobs in the entertainment industry.

    For those determined to find summer employment in the field of their interest, certain guidelines should be followed.

    “”Assertiveness and energy are important. Direct contact with employers of interest, regardless of seeing posted openings, is highly advisable in tough economic times,”” Roberts said.

    “”Also, smart job seekers spend a lot of time networking, asking those they know for advice and job leads.””

    Lew agrees, recounting her own job experience.

    “”I’d advise other students to ask around and see if there are any openings. The key is action. If you don’t take the initiative, then you’re stuck in a rut,”” Lew said.

    Many employers start accepting applications even before the school year ends. Luna suggests that students start looking before they’re even out of school to meet deadlines that the employer may have.

    After finding that perfect job, one needs the skills and qualities to get it. Because the job market is so competitive, students need something extra to boost them above the rest.

    “”Start early and get a feel of what employers are looking for. Review your resume and bring out those qualities you possess that the employer is looking for,”” Luna said. “”Most importantly, be able to sell your qualities to the employer. Also, practice your interviewing skills.””

    Internships make it easier for students to find jobs related to their interests and are often geared toward students.

    The Web site, http://internships.wetfeet.com, is a valuable resource based purely on internships, paid and nonpaid, in a variety of fields.

    Inroads, at http://www.inroads.org, is a nonprofit organization that trains and develops talented young people of color for professional careers in business and industry by placing them in internships.

    So while some students hit the books or hit the waves this summer, others will get a taste of the “”real world”” by securing a summer job or internship.

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