A student’s guide to getting a summer job


Rebecca Newman

Many students work in the fast food industry during the summer, serving up hot dogs, hamburgers, french fries, and other culinary delights.

Summer is right around the corner, which means the hunt for summer jobs has begun. 

Searching for summer jobs is a seemingly intimidating and tiring task, and many are unsure how to begin looking for one. 

For those students who are confused during the grueling task of sorting through endless job catalogs, follow this guide to obtain the ideal 2019 summer job. 

First, determine an interest or passion to further explore and gain experience in that field. Finding a job that not only improves skills, but also satisfies summer enjoyment is crucial. 

Afterwards, look for jobs that revolve around or incorporate those interests, with the ability to utilize and strengthen skills. 

“Find what you’re interested in and start investigating for places that fit the job you want,” sophomore Amanda Le said. 

This involves actively searching for intriguing jobs through guidance from friends, teachers, family, or online catalogs. Take advantage of resources with great benefit. 

Once a general direction of where to apply is in mind, create a list of several possibilities. 

Narrow this list down to jobs that follow a personal schedule, are relatively close and easy to commute to, and pay a desirable wage. 

Preparation, including being informed with the background 

of the workplace, is a key aspect that needs to be accounted for while applying for a job. 

“Getting a job is also rigorous, so make sure you plan out your schedule for all the ups and downs so you won’t stress in the end,” Le said. 

Be sure to satisfy the requirements for age, skillset, and past experience. Be prepared to provide a resume or multiple recommendations for the handful of jobs that require them. 

In preparation for an interview, have a friend or family member ask practice questions that are often asked by potential employers, such as, “Why are you interested in working here? and “What is your experience in this field?” 

Now comes the dreaded interview portion. If anxiety or nerves attack before an interview, remember, this is mere preparation that everyone must experience for future jobs. 

“The interview process wasn’t as scary as I thought,” sophomore Aisha Naveed said. “They asked us, ‘Why do you want the job?’, ‘What makes you qualified?’, ‘What makes you different from others?’, and ‘How committed are you to this job?’”

Arrive early to the interview with all required paperwork and information ready to share. 

“You have to look like you want it and are motivated,” sophomore Natalie Foo said. 

Attempt to make a good impression on the interviewer by being punctual, genuine and mature. Share and display unique abilities whenever possible. 

“During interviews, make sure to really show yourself and explain who you are and why you want the job,” sophomore swim instructor Shinika Balasundar said. “[Employers] like to see outspoken people.”

It is also important to be clear about scheduling. Inform the interviewer about desired working shifts. Jobs teach students important life skills and provide them with an insight to the workplace environment. 

“It’s great practice and exposure for money management and starting good habits,” said sophomore Autreena Naima said, who works at Yogurtland. “I’ve learned how to work with people and customers and how to manage and keep track of my money as well prioritizing things.”

Along with establishing good habits at an early age, jobs have the ability to ensure a brighter tomorrow.

“It’s beneficial because I get to earn money and learn about how to work with others, which will hopefully help me in the future,” sophomore gymnastics coach Madden Windham said. 

Summer jobs also allow students to explore an interest in which they could potentially pursue a career. 

“The thing about jobs is that they give you hands-on experience and they teach you to collaborate and work with others,”  Cal High career counselor Haley Hertz said. “There are a lot of valuable life skills that you learn on the job that you may not learn from school.”