Money Matters: Summer Jobs, Anyone?

You’re so busy with classes (and a rockin’ social life), you can’t seem to get ahead in the finance field.  Sure, summer might be a great time to soak up some sun for those college students who are lucky enough NOT to be struggling with student loans, car payments, credit card bills, etc.  But for a large majority of us, summer is the time to keep working our asses off… and get paid.

If you’re stressing about debt, never fear– summer is just around the corner.  And if you act now, chances are, you can secure a summer job so you’ll be ready to pay for books, bar tabs, and fall semester housing come August.  The question is, where should you look?

1.  Your former part-time high school job.

If you’re going home for the summer, the good news is, you’ll be close to the company you’ve worked at since you were 16.  Sure, it might not be the most glam way to spend the summer months, but desperate times call for desperate measures.  Maybe you were counting down the days until you could quit pre-college, but you’ve had some time off, and a few more months might not kill you.

Did you quit because you had to leave for college? Guess what- they probably had a whole rush of high school seniors do the same.  It doesn’t hurt to contact your old boss and ask if any shifts are available for the summer.  They’re inclined to say “yes” because they won’t have to pay to train you, and you can start at your old salary- or higher- without having to go through minimum-wage training.

2.  Tourist traps.

Plenty of places that are in summer vacay hot spots only hire for the summer, so you’re more apt to get hired here than a place that’s looking for a long term commitment and are put off by your May-August availability.  Beachside resorts and restaurants, cruise lines, and theme parks are all about hiring for the summer, and many of them will pay for housing because most of their employees are summer temps.  Bonus? You’ll be working with other college students on a summer hiatus- think the underground party that Baby crashes in Dirty Dancing or Lea Remini’s breakthrough role as Stacy in Saved by the Bell.

3.  Summer Camp

Obviously, they only hire for the summer, and college students have an advantage here.  Whatever your skills are, in this day and age, there’s a camp for just that.  Nutrition major? Try “fat camp” (or whatever the PC term is for that these days). Starving actor? Theater camp’s the way to go.  Sports freak? Basketball camp.  Total nerd? Try programs like math camp or youth science camp (I once participated in a program called KAST- Kids Are Scientists Too! Yes, the exclamation point was part of the title, and I learned how make ice cream in a plastic bag there – don’t ask questions).  Even if you don’t have a specialization yet, you may be able to apply as a general camp counselor, and you won’t have to worry about breaking a contract at the end of the season.

4.  Summer Stock.

For all of you liberal and fine arts majors, check it out!  Summer Stock is the best part of the year for many regional theater companies, but you don’t have to be an actor to appreciate it.  Theaters may be looking to fill their Summerstock positions with assistants in marketing, finance, production (read: carpentry), education, or management.  If you have  love for the arts, you’ll have a decent chance of getting an interview. And Summerstock participants are totally prone to partying.

5.  Paid internships.

This is a great time to do an internship, gain experience, and potentially make some cash.  It’s great for your resume, so it’s a good idea to look into companies close to where you’ll be staying this summer, as well as gigs that might be beneficial to list on your resume in the future.  You might not make as much money as you would waiting tables at Jimmy’s Crab Shack all summer, but it’s something.

6.  The internet.

Who knows what other companies are hiring?  Check out summerjobs.com, snagajob.com, coolworks.com, and, of course, craigslist.  Just see what comes up.  Your bank account, your credit report, and your parents will thank you when you can make timely payments next fall without asking for help.

Bikini Line Maintenance Just Got a Lot More Fun
Bikini Line Maintenance Just Got a Lot More Fun
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