Summer jobs hold positives and negatives for students

As McNick students enter their final quarter of the 2011-2012 school year, many turn their attention to their summer plans. Unfortunately, between all the road trips and concerts, “summer fun” can cost a lot of money. To help ease the costs, students often get summer jobs. For those still deciding where to work, here is a summary of some of the common jobs students take.

Coney Island: Coney Island offers a variety of jobs for teens, including positions in rides, lifeguarding, food, and parking. Since so many local students work there, the management is usually very flexible and understanding, making it easy to get days off. Workers are paid Ohio’s minimum wage of $7.70 an hour, but certain areas like lifeguarding offer raises for returning workers. Interested students can apply online.

“Working at Coney can be a lot of fun,” junior and pool cashier Maria Clark said. “My favorite part is getting to be with my co-workers. I already knew some of them from school, and we have a good time. Sometimes it’s rough because there’s no air conditioning and the customers can be overwhelming. My older sister works at Coney and helped me get a job there, but I know people who got a job without connections. One of my co-workers did a follow-up email after she applied, and she was able to get an interview.”

Lifeguard: Being a lifeguard at a local pool or country club requires training and certification. Depending on where the job is, employees might also be required to take additional courses and tests to keep up their skills. The job allows teens to be outside, learn important life skills, and often gives frequent breaks. The wage depends on the location of the job. Most places will ask teens to fill out an application either online or at the location, and all require that lifeguards be certified. Some places, like Coney Island, allow employees to be certified directly through their program, while others ask workers to get certified through an association like Red Cross. Employers are specific in the application, and will provide interested workers with the training information.

Hostess: Every hostess job is different, but most involve seating customers, cleaning, keeping a happy and positive attitude, and some other additional tasks. At Larosa’s and Mio’s where senior Emily Forsthoefel and junior Annie Gilfilen work, hostesses also work the cashier. In contrast, seniors Jen Foltz and Lauren Martella are expected to polish silverware at Outback Steakhouse. The job pays well because tips are added on, but teens will be expected to work late on the weekends in an often busy atmosphere. To get hired, students can simply go inside local restaurants and ask to speak to a manager about job openings. Even if the business isn’t currently hiring, students can ask for an application so they are on-file when a job comes up.

“I work as a hostess at Carrabba’s Italian Grill,” junior Danielle Schaefer said. “Applying was a pretty easy process because the application is all online. However, make sure you go to the restaurant first, because they will give you a card with that location’s code on it. If you’re looking into a job as a hostess, keep in mind that you’ll have to do a lot of different things. I seat people, set tables, clean, polish silverware, and do other things to help out around Carrabba’s everyday.”

Golf Courses: Working as a caddy or golf-cart cleaner offers the chance to be outside and get involved with sports. Since golfing is usually done in the morning and afternoon, it leaves nights open, which is a plus for those who like to do nighttime activities. At places like Legendary Run where senior Michael Nimmo works, the salary is minimum wage. Workers also receive tips, but they usually aren’t high enough to significantly increase the salary.

“If you are interested in being a caddy, get in contact with a country club’s pro-shop, because that’s the place that handles all golf-related things,” teacher Pat Stricker said. “This job is a great opportunity for a lot of college scholarships. Just last year, McNick senior Olivia Randolph got a full ride to OSU. Some places to look are Coldstream, the Cincinnati Country Club, and the Hyde Park course in Kenwood.”

Camp Counselor: For teens with a lot of energy and creativity, a job as a camp counselor is a great fit. This job allows students to work almost entirely with kids, playing games and keeping them entertained. Some camps have themes, such as a certain sport or artistic skill, but others are more like a daycare.

 “I work at Laugh-A-Lot Summer Camp, which just provides a place for kids to play and have fun during the day,” junior Stefan Games said. “It’s definitely taught me a lot about leadership and proves my responsibility. Also, it’s fun to play sports and games with the kids. The only downfall is that it only pays $180 a week, which is below minimum wage.”

Babysitter: This job is similar to being a camp counselor because it deals with taking care of kids all day. All babysitting jobs require responsibility and patience, but besides that, each family has their own requirements. Since many parents work during the summer, teens who post flyers around the neighborhood or ask around can usually find a babysitting opportunity. Students can also post on sites like, allowing them to create an online profile for local parents to see. In addition, teens can go to local elementary schools and ask about posting flyers or advertising in a newsletter.

“I watch two boys and one girl that range from six years old to twelve years old,” junior Francine Wright said. “During the summer, I’ll watch them Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Having this job has given me good parenting skills and given me a taste of the future. The kids need a lot of attention, but I love them and I get paid around $20 an hour.”

Restaurant/Fast food: “I like working at Dairy Queen because the starting salary is $8.25 an hour and you get discounts on the food,” junior Pat Disalvio said. “However, it is a lot harder than you’d expect. We have to always be cleaning and some of the food is complicated to make. For example, we have to make all the cakes from scratch.”

Students interested in working at Dairy Queen can contact Disalvio or visit their website for more information.

Working with a family member’s company: Many offices have basic tasks like mailing letters and checking emails that they don’t really have time to get done. If employees of these offices have teenage family members, it’s not uncommon for them to hire the students to fulfill these duties. This can be a great opportunity for teens, especially if they are interested in getting a future full-time position in that company.

“I work with my mom’s company. My job is to open, stamp, scan, and organize mail and data,” junior Kathryn Scheidler said. “The hours are really flexible; I can basically go in whenever as long as the work is done by Monday. Also, I can wear whatever I want. The negatives are that the work can get monotonous, and there aren’t any other teens to talk to.”

Even with this advice, finding a summer job can be stressful for teens. Readers are encouraged to comment below if they have any additional ideas or know of any job openings.

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