Some students decide to spend their time going to the beach or travelling, but many others use this free time to earn money through a summer job. What exactly are Hopkins students doing at these jobs and how can they help you land one, too?
The allure of the beach makes for a perfect summer job and drives some students to work near the water. Julius Herzog ’20, reported the very obvious benefit: “It’s better than working inside.” At the Yale Corinthian Yacht Club, he teaches children how to sail. “I enjoyed it because it’s fun but also because it gave me a chance to share something I enjoy with kids who have never done it before. In the morning their faces are usually terrified because the boat is banking [leaning to one side], but at the end of the day, when we come ashore, they have learned from their mistakes and always have a smile on their faces.”
For Herzog, the job was less about the pay and more about what he took away from it: “I’m not exactly out there making ducats, but it is actually less about that and more about what you can learn about what it is like to work and have a job.”
Herzog advised students trying to get a job to find something that you enjoy. He said, “Do something you’re interested in. If there’s a job opportunity there, that’s great; take it. If not, just try to learn as much as you can from something else.”
While not at the seashore, Caitlyn Chow ’19 also worked by the water at the Trumbull local pool. Chow recalled, “I was a lifeguard and I applied through my town’s parks and recreation department. In total I got around $1,600 for working for a third of the summer, so I would say it was worth it.”
Not only was the money a plus for Chow, but the work itself was also enjoyable: “I liked it because it was relatively easy. My work consisted of sitting in the sun, telling kids to stop running, manning the waterslide, and having half of the day on break because they hired an overflow of guards. I got all of my summer reading done in less than a week while at work so all in all it was a win-win.”
Beth Hartog ’19, who also worked as a lifeguard, spoke on the benefits that comes with having a job. “It’s worth it because you get to earn your own money which is a really cool prospect.” Even if students are below the age of sixteen, it is possible to find a paying job. Hartog said, “Honestly, it’s not that hard to get a job over the summer. It was a little more difficult for me because I was only fifteen last summer and most jobs require a minimum age of sixteen. I looked around for swim clubs that hire fifteen-year-olds, submitted an application for each of them, and eventually one got back to me saying that I could work there.”
The idea of a crazy boss may scare someone looking for a chill summer job, but Hartog said, “Most of the time, your boss is really nice and considerate. Mine understands that we’re teenagers and that sometimes we go on vacation and as long as you get someone to cover your shift, you’re pretty much golden.”
Liam Day ’18, will be working a job at a hotel this summer. “I’m working at a pretty expensive and real nice hotel called Chatham Bars Inn and I was hired earlier this spring to work as a counselor of their Kids Crew. I’m pretty much hanging out with kids, playing fun games, walking around town, and doing other exciting things for children.” He will work for minimum wage with two days off each week, but this still adds up to forty hours a week. Doing the math, he will be making over four hundred dollars a week.
His job required an application, which Day described: “Online originally and then was followed up with in-person interview and a ton of physical paperwork. It was a little stressful and frustrating just waiting for responses but it wasn’t that bad.” Day also said, “If you want a summer job, [start] looking and applying early.”
Josh Ip ’18, found his summer job from volunteer origins: “I got my summer job last year working at Horizons at Foote School. I’d volunteered the year prior, and when I asked if I could volunteer again last summer they offered to pay me.” This was not Ip’s only job, as he laughingly retold his experience working in the dessert industry: “I also got a job at a rolled ice cream place last year, but Bryan Gu ’18 got me fired.”
Ip explained that at this Horizons job, “I taught little kids from K-4 grade about Lego Robotics.” Horizons provides “local enrichment learning programs for over four thousand students over the summer across the US,” according to their website. “It was super fun and never felt like a job.” His summer routine was as follows: “Wake up, go to Horizons, go to work in the lab for the rest of the day, train for a half marathon, sleep, repeat. It was fun for me but probably seems like torture for others.” Though one may not find Ip’s choice to spend his time the most attractive, it still proves that there is much time to devote to other activities while working a job at the same time.
There are countless possibilities for teenage occupations. Some other options are working as a waitress, like Sarah Roberts ’20, who worked at a restaurant in Redding, Clare Chemery ’19, who worked in a kitchen, or Liz Bamgboye ’20 who worked as a CIT (Counselor in Training) earning minimum wage.
Whether the job is boring, fun, educational, well-paying, or even below minimum wage, there are several ways to make some extra cash this summer while still having lots of time to hang out with friends or and pursue other commitments. Find a passion that pays and hope a friend doesn’t get you sacked.