At the end of their second semester each academic year, college students are blessed with the luxury of a summer vacation: a time to replace the books, study, and exams with, for most at least, three or so months of no real commitments or responsibilities whatsoever. It’s certainly a special time. But, from my experience, I’d argue it’s also a great opportunity for students to find a job and to earn some money.
Finding a Summer Job
Towards the end of my first year at college I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my summer vacation. With about a month to go until I’d be packing up my dorm room and heading home, I hadn’t secured any work, and neither did I have any holidays booked. So in my first week back, I frantically started phoning round what seemed like every business in my local area to see if they could offer me a few months work. Needless to say, my initial search was largely unsuccessful and I ended up with a couple of week’s temporary work as a waiter – not bad, but I was looking for more.
A month later though (having already ran over the possibility of taking part in a paid medical trial!) I was lucky enough to get a call back from a nearby farm I’d left my number with in my week of frantic job searching. A job had come up and I took it with open arms. The job involved working in the farm shop and simple manual tasks around the farm like fruit picking. It gave me something to do out in the open air but, most importantly, I was getting paid for it. The next summer I went back to work there and was, again, very grateful for the money.
Why a Summer Job is Essential
For me, working in my summer vacations meant I had the extra cash to spend when I went back to college in the autumn, and it also meant I could save some of it to have ready and waiting for when I graduated. But on top of that it gave me another taster of the working world (I had a part-time job before I went to college) that provided me with at least a handful of valuable lessons in dealing with customers and working with colleagues that will stay with me for life – however trivial they may have seemed at the time. So unless you have grand plans to go away travelling or on a series of holidays throughout your vacation then I’d argue finding some work – whatever it is – is a good idea. Even if you’re not in desperate need of the money at present, you may well be a few years down the line when you’ve graduated and perhaps need anything from a car, to a suit, to the first rent payment for a flat.
Where to Find a Summer Job
As well as little temporary jobs working as a waiter, in a shop, (or on a farm!) though remember there’s also the possibility of finding an internship with a large company for your summer vacation. If you’ve got an idea of what you might like to do, then scan around the websites of firms within your chosen field for opportunities, and also think about seeking information from your college careers service. Most paid internships will be fiercely competitive to get onto, but it’s certainly something to consider. The benefits of internships is that, very often – come the end of your eight or so week-long stint – you might find the company you’ve been working for are willing to offer you a job for when you graduate from college. Also don’t rule out taking an unpaid internship of some sort. Obviously, you’ll miss out on the chance to bag some extra cash this way, but they generally won’t be as tough to get a place on and you’ll still end up with some work experience to put on your résumé and to carry forward into your post-college life.