Summer jobs: choosing money over the pool

Amelia Nored, Editorial Board Member

With summer looming just around the corner, many students are scrambling to find a job or internship to keep them occupied during the break from school or to provide themselves with a steady flow of cash to supply their ice cream and shorts funds for the warmer months. However, it can be difficult to know where to start when searching for the perfect employment opportunity that interests them and fits their needs.

“I’d definitely recommend that people looking for their first job turn to small businesses. It’s usually more flexible for someone that may not be able to have a job with demanding hours, plus you have a better connection with your coworkers and boss. It’s overall a comforting work environment,” junior Katie Blauvelt, a worker at a local pottery shop, said. 

No matter the kind of work environment, getting a first job can be nerve-wracking for some. 

“Applying for a job is definitely scary in the beginning, but in the end it is worth it because working helps you gain so much knowledge and so many skills,” junior Grace Leibowitz said. My job as a restaurant worker has taught me an immense amount of patience and has shown me that hard work does actually pay off.”

Internships can also be a great option for students looking to enhance their knowledge over the summer. Some can even earn students college credit, although they are often unpaid for high schoolers. Internships also serve a different purpose than jobs do—they have specific learning objectives for those who participate in them and are like training for a job and gaining experience instead of actually performing the job. 

“I chose to apply for an internship because the field that my internship is in—journalism and media—would be a difficult field to get a job in while still in high school, and I knew I wanted to gain the experience before I decided if it was something I wanted to do as a career,” junior Serena Sherwood said. “I think I gained a lot more knowledge about my future career and work than I could have at a minimum wage job.”

Applying for internships can be a much different experience than applying for a job, though. Students may struggle to figure out what kind of internship they are looking for and how to apply.

“Do an internship for a company or field that you’re really interested in, not just one you think will look good on a college application. Employers can tell when you’re really passionate about something, and internships can be competitive, so having passion can help you stand out from everyone else applying,” Sherwood said. “Don’t be afraid to go for larger businesses and companies, but don’t cross local businesses off your list.” 

The life lessons that students may take away from their time as employees can stick with them forever, and working can teach them real-world skills that may not be developed as well in school. As we approach summer 2021, it might be worthwhile to consider getting a job or internship and evaluating which type of employment works best for our individual needs.