Remember the good old days when summer meant no work and all play? When being done with school meant hours at the pool and sleeping ‘til kingdom come? Unfortunately, when you’re in college, summer isn’t all fun and games anymore. In today’s job market, finding work after college is hard enough. That’s why during the summer, many college students are looking to gain some work experience. Without classes bogging you down, summer is the best time to dive into a full-time internship. But for a college student with minimal experience, chances are that if you score that dream full-time internship, it won’t be paying.
Unpaid internships are sufficient if you have no expenses and don’t mind a relatively non-existent social life. But for those who actually need money to live, don’t fear. There are great summer jobs that can work with your internship schedule and put some cash in your pocket. As long as you know what to look for, making money doesn’t have to interfere with planning for your future. Follow these guidelines and it’ll be easy to make money this summer.
Pick a job you know will work with your schedule:
(Waitress, retail, barista)
Go for a job whose hours you know won’t conflict with your full-time internship. If you’re a morning person, pick up a few hours before work at a local coffee shop or breakfast restaurant. Many shops open at 6 a.m. or earlier, so if your internship starts at 9, ask about opening a couple days a week. There won’t be many people fighting you for those shifts. Work a few nights a week as a waitress or a hostess. Megan Sloan, a rising junior at Colorado University, interns at Ligit Networks and also works weekends at a local restaurant. She says the restaurant is family-oriented, so they need extra help on the weekends. “I make great money for a college student,” Megan says. Even if you can’t work very many hours in the service industry, the hours are convenient and the tips you’ll pick up will add a nice bonus to your paycheck.
(Catering server, party company, lifeguard)
Even if your full-time internship makes it nearly impossible to socialize, summer is the optimal season for get-togethers, weddings and extravagant parties. That’s why many catering and party companies hire part-time workers over the summer. Maddy Foley, a senior at Kenyon College, worked as a caterer while she interned full-time. “Because it’s an event-based job,” she says, “you work, for example, one 10-hour event instead of operating around a set schedule that spreads hours out across the week.” Maddy says that she was making over $100 per week and only working one or two events. Companies that hire seasonal workers are a perfect fit for busy collegiettes. Even summer jobs like lifeguarding or a summer day-care are often looking for workers on the weekend during the summer break. Plus, if you do a good job, they’ll be looking to hire you back next summer.