Written by Christina B ’18
The worst part about summer jobs are that they’re a pain to find. For most entry-level positions I’ve come across, no one wants to hire someone that has to be trained, only for them to quit in three months. Completely understandable when you think about it, right? That leaves the usual summer jobs: camp counselor, life guard, baby sitter, maybe a fast food joint that will take you on. It’s slim pickings for sure.
Before I blow your mind with the secret of student summer jobs, let me remind you of a thing called networking. It’s the scary thing that we try not to think about until maybe senior year when it actually applies to us. What it really is, is interacting with other people to exchange information and develop contacts, especially to further your career. I know. Talking to professionals… already with a job? That’s obviously crazy.
Get ready, here’s the secret: You’ve probably already done some sort of networking to grab a previous summer job! (Or if this will be your first job, don’t worry!) Little did we know that our parents, family, and friends would be our first networking experience. I know more than few people who, when I asked them how they got their summer job, said they or a parent knew someone who was hiring. For example, my friend with absolutely no experience as a secretary or relation to construction companies, worked last summer managing the front desk of a California bay area construction company. How did she get that job? Her mom knew the hiring manager.
My own mom informed me of her boss hiring his daughter for the summer to do front desk/filing duties as well; I think she was hinting that I do the same. However, I landed a job running the snack bar at the gym that I had been going to for years, because I knew the manager through a high school friend!
When you think about it, you may have countless opportunities to snag open positions, all you have to do is reconnect with the people you already know.
If you’re interested in beginning your networking process through family and friends, check out http://collegeparents.org/2005/04/25/4-steps-cringe-free-networking/ or stop by the Career Center during Express Advising hours to talk to one of our wonderful counselors. Check out this resource to help you map out your known contacts.
Good luck with whatever your summer may bring, whether it’s securing a job or lounging in the sun. See you next year, go Pilots!