Closer Look

Find The Perfect Summer Job With Tips From Current And Former Students

Photo courtesy Siemar// Flickr

Don’t be fooled by the recent snowfall: Summer is coming, and with it, the end of the semester. While some of you might be concerned with burning off winter calories or stressing over final exams, there is another obstacle you may face: how to go about finding a summer job or internship.

Summer jobs are not only a source of income, but they also serve as skill and résumé builders. Finding a job isn’t always easy, but don’t fret! The Phoenix is here to help with tips, tricks and advice from your fellow Ramblers to land you the perfect summer job.

Sheena Lakhani, a 2014 Loyola alumna, has had plenty of experience with employers and summer jobs.

“It is definitely important for students to work over the summer,” said Lakhani in an email to The Phoenix. “The biggest advantage you can have over someone else is experience. Your fellow classmates will all graduate with you, and you will all be looking for similar positions post-graduation.”

Lakhani said there are several benefits to working over the summer as opposed to during the school year, and she doesn’t see any downsides to spending a little time in the office.

“You have time to dedicate to [a summer] job,” she said. “I’ve worked at internships during the school year and it was always tough balancing my time between work and school. You have time to get a real, hands-on experience without having to worry [about] your classes and grades. I honestly don’t see a downside to working over the summer.”

Lakhani also said her summer jobs helped her land the position she has now at Burson-Marsteller, a PR agency where she works as a client staff assistant. She said making connections is key to landing a job because you never know who will be able to help you get your foot in the door.

So, where do you begin?

The first step in applying for any job is knowing where to start. Searching through jobs can be tedious and overwhelming, but Loyola has several resources available for students to help narrow the search.

“School resources help,” Lakhani said. “I remember sitting down in January of my senior year and researching all the companies on the SOC job resource database, making a list of the ones I liked and applying to every single one.”

The Career Development Center is available to all current students and alumni to make the job search easier. The Career Development Center offers several services, including résumé reviews, mock interviews, individual advising and exclusive access to job postings through RamblerLink.

Freelance writing, serving in restaurants, internships, nannying and entrepreneurship were ranked as some of the most popular summer jobs in a 2012 Forbes list. In 2015, 60 percent of young adults ages 16 to 24 worked over the summer, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Many Loyola students believe that summer jobs and internships are beneficial.

Sophomore Pablo Lopez has had internships since high school and plans on having one again this summer at Morgan Stanley or UBS, a financial services company.

“The earlier you can get real-world experience, the better,” said the 20-year-old finance major from Cleveland, Ohio.

Lopez said having an internship gives you valuable insight in an industry.

“I’ve definitely built my intrapersonal communication skills,” said Lopez. “You get real experience with the things you’re learning in the classroom.”

Junior Rachel Consoles agrees with Lopez about the importance of summer jobs.

She said working over the summer has helped her  build people skills and taught her to work as a collaborative team member. She also agrees that the earlier you can get an internship or job, the better.

“I was 16 when I got my first job,” said Consoles. “You should have some experience before you apply for a real job or internship because it’s so much different than what you’re learning in school. Having a job also teaches you responsibility.”

Consoles used RamblerLink to find her current internship at SOCIAL Enjoyments, but she said she has also used another resource to find past summer jobs. While Craigslist has a reputation for being sketchy and unreliable, Consoles said she has utilized it more than once to find a job.

“You just go on the Craigslist website and there are pages full of job listings,” said the 21-year-old ad/PR major from Sandwich, Massachusetts. “You can search jobs by categories and location. That’s how I found my babysitting job over the summer when I was at home.”

Consoles said that having a summer job isn’t always fun, especially since summer break is a time for students to enjoy.

“If you’re like me and need money, then you should get a job,” she said.

Summer jobs aren’t for everyone, though. Sophomore Danielle Austriaco said having a summer job or internship is only really important if you’ve never worked before.

“At some point in college, students need to work because they need to gain experience,” said the 19-year-old marketing major from Park Ridge, Illinois.

She also said that balancing a job and relaxing over the summer can be difficult. It really depends on the individual, she said.

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Erin Kelly is the Closer Look editor. She is a senior journalism student at Loyola University Chicago, originally from Lake Villa, IL. A former Better Government Association intern, Erin enjoys working on in-depth stories.

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