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What are some good job options for college students?

I'm not in college yet, but I'd like some ideas for a few years from now when I do go to college. Also, what should I look for in job while I'm still in school, whether it's highschool or college? I'm planning to apply for jobs this summer, but I've never done this before and don't want to go in blind.
#jobs #job #entry-level #higher-education #college #first-job


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John’s Answer

Maddi when you get to college on-campus jobs are often a great choice for students looking for a part-time job. When you work on campus, you don’t have to worry too much about commuting to the office, which can be especially tricky when it comes to balancing homework, studying, and of course, class time. Also, working on campus can be a great way to meet new people and make valuable connections with your college’s faculty and staff. It can be difficult to balance school with a work schedule, and that balance is even harder to come by when you factor in the commute to and from work. Jobs on campus, therefore, tend to be a really good fit for college students. For one, on-campus employers tend to be more understanding about academic demands, and are used to accommodating staffing changes based on fluctuations in course load. In addition, you won't have to worry about scrambling from class in order to make it to work on time, and working on campus is a great way to meet new people. You’ll also make valuable connections with faculty and staff at your university.

John recommends the following next steps:

Camp Counselor – Opportunities abound at summer day camps and childcare programs for aspiring camp counselors who’d prefer not to spend an entire summer away from home. If you like working with younger kids and want to work in an environment where entry-level workers have real responsibilities, being a camp counselor is close to an ideal gig.
Grocery Store Employee – Automation looms as a major threat for grocery store cashiers and baggers, known as front-end workers, but these jobs aren’t obsolete quite yet. Importantly for enterprising high schoolers, they remain open to applicants under age 18 where local labor laws permit. Grocery store department jobs — deli clerk, butcher, stocker — are less prone to automation but more likely to be restricted to over-18s due to occupational hazards, training requirements, or late hours.
Food Server – Serving is a super-popular first job for high school students. Although local regulations often prohibit minor employees from bar service, they’re usually free to wait and bus tables — and earn tips enough to significantly boost their admittedly low base pay. If you prefer to operate behind the scenes, working in a restaurant kitchen might be more your speed.
Dog Walker and Pet Sitter – Like landscaping and babysitting, pet care services — dog walking, pet sitting, and related activities — is a flexible, scalable, often informal gig that’s great for entrepreneurial high schoolers. Because you almost certainly have pet parents in your extended social network, tapping that network might be all that’s needed to land a steady stream of part-time pet care work.

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Kendall Paige’s Answer

Aloha, Maddi.

You received great answers from John, Jennifer, Elizabeth, and Natalie. I agree with each of them!

A few additional things I would encourage you to do:
-Create a LinkedIn profile, especially once you've begun your first job. This is your living, breathing professional profile online. The sooner you're able to share your resume and work experiences with the world (paid or unpaid), as well as network with other professionals, the better!
-Once you land your first job, and NO job is too small!, begin creating your resume. Think about the knowledge & skill sets you're gaining that would be value added to future internships and employers.
-Last but not least, be open to trying different things, especially early on in your career. You may end up working in roles that aren't your dream jobs, or you may end up discovering something you're totally passionate for, but ALL of them are valuable experiences to have! I can honestly say I've learned as much, if not more, from some of my more challenging work experiences than I did the ones that felt natural and went smoothly for me. Any time you're willing to take a chance and try something new, you're pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. That is often where the greatest growth, personally and professionally, comes from.

Best of luck to you, your future awaits! :)

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Yasemin’s Answer

Hi Maddi! Excellent question! I had a difficult time finding a job in high school but when I got to college I ended up with 3! I was very happy because in addition to having financial support, I also had 2 of those 3 jobs on campus. Therefore, I would definitely recommend to look at jobs on campus, most of the employees in the offices and cafes on the campus were students. I also applied for work study during FAFSA, I believe there is an option and you select yes. With work study you get an amount on your tuition that will be broken up and paid to you as a check; my work study was as at the academic center as a front desk assistant but there can be different opportunities I think. I was also a tutor ( I applied at the end of sophomore year) so if you think you are good at a subject and have a pretty good grade in it (for my university it was B+ and above I believe) then tutoring is a great option as well. I actually got an email asking for tutors and decided to go for it because I always loved to teach as well. With being on campus you also don't have to worry about commuting and even have time to complete school work too when things are slow. My job outside of campus was as a waitress at a local diner near my house. If you are looking for something besides on campus opportunities, then I would also consider maybe being a server or working in restaurant/diner where you make tips. These are just a couple of options, but always make sure you can be flexible with your jobs because you don't want it to interfere with school too much either.

I hope this helps!
Best of luck!

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Jessica’s Answer

I think a full-time summer job is always a great move to make so you can work a bunch of overtime and save up a ton of cash to put towards your education in the spring and fall (think amusement parks and movie theaters). Also, I HIGHLY SUGGEST trying to get AT LEAST ONE paid internship in your future career field during the summer before you graduate so you have some professional experience to put on your resume for after you graduate. There are a lot of companies that cater to college students for internships, especially because they're scouting for talent to hire after their degrees are complete. Once you graduate, it's much harder to find these entry-level jobs without any prior professional experience.

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Natalie’s Answer

Hi Maddi,

In regards to college, most universities will offer student positions that are flexible and work with your school schedule. The positions could be anything from food service to office/clerical work. Try to connect with people by networking and apply to internships. Internships and volunteer activities look great on your resume.

During high school, the best position you could look for would be something that might encourage a lot of written or verbal communication, but you could work anywhere.

Good luck!

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Elizabeth’s Answer

Once you get into college, there are usually some pretty nice options available for tutoring/assistant/consultant type jobs with the university. One that comes to mind immediately is consultant for the writing lab/comm center. The hours are flexible with class commitments and the pay is usually competitive. The biggest perk, however, is having the other members of that team, who are all writing, communication consultants and professors who manage who can give you the extra lift when you are working on your own projects. I wish that had been a "thing" when I was in college.

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Gloria’s Answer

Hi Maddi,

I would recommend trying to get a job through the campus. There are some programs where you can work for the school and get money off your tuition or get paid directly. Either way, I think that a connection to the school would benefit you because you are going to be at school a lot anyway. It would make for a much shorter commute, saving you time and money to get to a new location and start the work day. Plus working on campus always you build a network on campus.

If you don't work on campus, I would say work as close as you can. Also be honest with non-campus businesses about the fact that you are going to school. You want to work for an employer who can work around your classes. Not all of them can, but you want to understand your challenges with scheduling. That takes communication.

Good luck on your job hunt.
Gloria

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Roxanne’s Answer

Look into getting a job at the school. Looking into internship with the area of your study is also a good choice, it gives you an opportunity to build experience. In the long run, look for somewhere willing to work with your classes and can gain experience.

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Jennifer’s Answer

Personally, I've found that the best jobs in college are the ones that allow you downtime to work on your other assignments. This could be working in the library, front office, etc. Another job that might give you valuable experience and add a boost to your resume is tutoring/teaching assistant. Some professors will hire undergraduate teaching assistants to help out with the class material. Good luck!

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Lorri’s Answer

Our daughter had some wonderful opportunities while in college. One was house sitting. She was able to rotate between several homes of very well traveled and financially secure employers. One couple had two dogs and our daughter was to care for the dogs and their home. Rent was free, food endless and she was paid too. In other homes there were no pets and responsibilities were less with the same benefits.
A friend of hers was a nanny for the Gates family. She was very well paid, had no rent and all her meals were taken care of. They were able to work out a schedule so she was in class and had study time while the children were in school. Another bonus was she went on vacations with the family as a nanny also. I hope this helps.

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Leland’s Answer

Hi Maddi,

One of my favorite jobs I had while in college was an office assistant role. I worked at the front desk of my dorm, which allowed me to meet a number of influential people, as well as help allocate time to studying and homework when the shift wasn't busy. I would strongly recommend looking into a similar position if it is offered at the college you choose.

I would also recommend looking into positions that provide experience for your eventual profession. I worked as an instructional assistant in a lab, which gave me experience when pursuing jobs in the engineering field out of college. In addition, colleges offer many research opportunities. The research isn't always science-based, the research could be in economics, psych, etc. Many professors in those fields are willing to help their students find ones that align with their interests.

Good luck!

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Abigail’s Answer

I highly recommend getting a part time job that gives some time for homework. This is very possible! I worked at the park district in the city of my college all 4 years of undergrad as a receptionist. It was steady hours, decent pay, and when I had down time, I could do homework! This can also be the case for on campus jobs - some of my friends worked at the library or in other offices on campus and also were free to work on homework when no one needed help. This is a good way to go to lower all the stress that comes with classes and use your time wisely with all of the assignments and studying that you have to do. Depending on the situation, I could see the same being true for a baby sitter or house sitter position as well. It is a lot easier than working in a restaurant or grocery store where you will be constantly busy! Of course, if money is not what you need but were hoping for experience, internships would also be a great idea - and some may even be paid! It really depends on your goal, but if you need the money, try and find a job that won’t make your life even harder during the busy time of college!

Abigail recommends the following next steps:

Look for job postings on campus
Look for available jobs near campus

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Davina’s Answer

There are so many ways that you can work and still have time for your school work and other studying. While in high school, although most people will go the fast food route, I would recommend that you find a job at a library! Not only is it a quite location, but you can also study in between assisting anyone with questions.

In college, I would say to see if there is something that you can do that is tied to what you are going to school for. Look around the campus to see if there are opportunities to work in a library, front office or even with different organizations within the campus.

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Debbie’s Answer

Hi Maddi,

It would be best to get a job working in an area that you are interested. In my case, I was able to obtain 12 credit hours of marketing class doing an internship at a department store in the mall. In addition to getting college credits, I got paid. This was a win -win for me as most of my friends who did did an internship did not get paid.

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Simeon’s Answer

If you don't need the money, I would highly recommend looking for internships, even the unpaid ones and focus on networking while you're there. Networking meaning making friends and being a part of any outings that occur while you're there.

A different route would be to consider looking for a job that could sustain you long-term and will give you a back-up job to hold you down while you are looking for the job you prefer. For instance, getting barista or bartender experience would give you better paying job prospects if you need to wait in a lower wage job until the job you prefer opens up. It helps not needing to jump on the first job opportunity that heads your way.

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