How Not to Move Back in With Your Parents

Employment & Internships Podcast Episodes

Using Your Summer Job Money Wisely

Listen to the Podcast

Pete and Alex talk with Phil about the importance of having a summer job and what you should do with the money you earn (hint: avoid spending it).

Read the Show Notes

When looking for summer employment you must first decide why you want to work. Are you working to pay for fall semester costs of college life & tuition? Or, are you working to pay for the activities that accompany your college life? Finding yourself planning ahead for the money you have yet to earn, will go a long way to ensure that you don’t waste your summer income on frivolous and less prioritized decisions. This planning will decrease the amount of stress and time you may spend working during the busy college semesters while enrolled in classes.

College students typically search for internships and summer jobs. Internships are typically sought after by students approaching their junior or senior years and are more closely tied to their academic major and career goals. Freshman and sophomores can also seek internships and may choose to use them to explore some career fields in which they have an interest, as a means to narrow the major choices and course planning for the next couple of years in college.

Tips on Seeking Summer Employment:
  1. Start early – When? As early as February! – The earlier you start your search for summer opportunities, the more choices you will have and the more likely you find a job that is a good match.
  2. Prepare your Materials – Resume and at least 3 references will be needed to share with interviewers. It’s never too early to have a resume once you are in college. It’s a piece you will develop over the course of your lifetime, and the freshman year is a great time to start! Be sure to ask your references for permission before submitting their names, titles and contact information on an application. Also pick people that you know will speak to your skill sets. Good references are professors, co-workers from previous employment, supervisors, volunteer leaders and/or coaches.
  3. What type of job are you looking for? It’s important to put some thought into this area. Do you want to work outside? With kids? In a corporate setting? Retail or something else? There are many seasonal positions available only in the summer at places like zoos, amusement parks, camps, and the like. These are great for a variety of college majors to get some transferable skills.
  4. Build your Network – Networking really does work and you already have a connected group to start with. Ask friends, parents, coaches, professors, former employers if they can assist you in a summer job search. Utilize campus resources – career offices can assist you with job search strategies and building your network.
  5. Search campus job boards – Online postings that are on the university job boards are from on-campus and off-campus sources. These employers know that college students have skills to offer.
  6. Apply in person – Go into the places of employment that interest you. Dress appropriately and ask if there are any positions open for college students seeking employment. Have resumes with you and a short speech to introduce yourself and what your major and career goals are and how a position at the company could provide you skill development.

While the primary goal of working in the summer is to gain income/cash; remember to learn something to add to your resume with each work experience. Post summer employment is a great time to have the resume critiqued so that you capture all the relevant skills a position offered.