Make us your home page

Summer job leads for students

NEW YORK — Your teenager has some new competition for jobs this summer. Namely, the growing army of 12.5 million out-of-work Americans hungry for a paycheck. • To boost her odds, Jennifer Wagner is already searching Web sites for her son Justin, a 19-year-old sophomore at Northeastern University in Boston. She wants him to get a job related to his graphic arts major, but wonders if that's possible anymore. • "Jobs that normally would've gone to teenagers or college students are going to be filled by people who are out of work or just graduated. They're going to be taking jobs they normally wouldn't take," said Wagner, a 51-year-old resident of New York City. • While the search might prove frustrating, there are still ways to ensure the kids stay busy and off your couch this summer. Here are three ways your son or daughter can get an edge.

1. Make full use of the career center

For college students, the university career center is a great place to start the hunt. The centers can help spit-shine resumes and hone interview skills. They maintain databases of job openings, too, some of which are posted by alumni who might give students priority as candidates.

Students might even be able to interview for openings without leaving the center. At Cornell University, a Web cam lets students talk with faraway hiring managers. At UCLA, the career center offers targeted workshops on how to research companies to succeed in the job interview. There are also workshops for landing jobs in specific fields, such as health care and law.

Career centers can also be a way to make contacts in the business world. Rutgers University, for instance, maintains an "alumni career network" of graduates who have volunteered to be mentors to students. While students aren't supposed to use it to seek jobs, it can be a great way to learn about or pave the way for such opportunities.

Recruiters looking to fill summer openings typically start heading to campus around early March, but companies seem to be waiting a little longer this year, said Rebecca Sparrow, director of Career Services at Cornell.

"That might make it hard for students who like to have their plans sealed up," she said.

The upside is that it's not too late for college students who haven't yet found a job or internship.

2. Launch a business

One way teenagers can bypass the barren job market is to create their own work.

Sit down with your teen and list any bankable skills, whether it's Web design, mowing lawns or baking brownies. Even if it doesn't turn into a smash hit, the experience can help develop project management skills.

Of course, not every teen is suited to this option. Running a business, even on a basic level, takes discipline.

"You have to be a self-starter and know how to market yourself," said Jennifer Hartman, certified financial planner and principal of Greenleaf Financial Group in Los Angeles.

Hartman suggests having your son or daughter draw up a business plan to bring the goal into focus. It doesn't have to be elaborate — it could be one page stating the objective, target market and any costs that might be incurred. You also could set up a simple accounting sheet in Excel, with debits and credits to track income.

Spread the word among friends and family. Word-of-mouth advertising is often more successful than a formal advertising campaign.

3. Create an internship

If you can't land an internship at a major organization, ask around at smaller, independent operations. They might not have formalized programs, but that doesn't mean they won't be open to the idea.

After securing a spot, students should move beyond the typical gofer duties and volunteer for more substantial projects. Showing initiative might quickly land them paying positions, albeit at a clerical or entry-level position.

With so many companies slashing staff and budgets, anyone who works for little or no money will be welcome around the office.

"Internships used to be a benefit for student. Now it's a benefit for the company that is getting that kid for free," said Lisa Jacobson, founder and chief executive of Inspirica, a tutoring company based in New York.

Even if the internship isn't paid, it shows colleges the student has initiative and interests beyond school.

"What they do during the summers really factors in. That all adds up, even if you're not making money," Jacobson said.

Summer job leads for students 04/04/09 [Last modified: Saturday, April 4, 2009 4:32am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. At Menorah Manor, planning paid off during Irma

    Nursing Homes

    ST. PETERSBURG — Doris Rosenblatt and her husband, Frank, have lived in Florida all of their lives, so they know about hurricanes.

    Raisa Collins, 9, far left, works on a craft project as Certified Nursing Assistant Shuntal Anthony holds Cassidy Merrill, 1, while pouring glue for Quanniyah Brownlee, 9, right, at Menorah Manor in St. Petersburg on Sept. 15. To help keep its patients safe during Hurricane Irma, Menorah Manor allowed employees to shelter their families and pets at the nursing home and also offered daycare through the week. The facility was able to accommodate and feed everyone who weathered the storm there. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]
  2. After Irma, nursing homes scramble to meet a hard deadline

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Florida's nursing homes and assisted-living facilities find themselves in an unfamiliar place this week — pushing back against Gov. Rick Scott's administration over new rules that require them to purchase generator capacity by Nov. 15 to keep their residents safe and comfortable in a power …

    In this Sept. 13 photo, a woman is transported from The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills as patients are evacuated after a loss of air conditioning due to Hurricane Irma in Hollywood. Nine have died and patients had to be moved out of the facility, many of them on stretchers or in wheelchairs. Authorities have launched a criminal investigation to figure out what went wrong and who, if anyone, was to blame. [Amy Beth Bennett | South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP]
  3. Trigaux: How Moffitt Cancer's M2Gen startup won $75 million from Hearst


    TAMPA — A Moffitt Cancer Center spin-off that's building a massive genetic data base of individual patient cancer information just caught the attention of a deep-pocketed health care investor.

    Richard P. Malloch is the president of Hearst Business Media, which is announcing a $75 million investment in M2Gen, the for-profit cancer informatics unit spun off by Tampa's Moffitt Cancer Center. Malloch's job is to find innovative investments for the Hearst family fortune. A substantial amount has been invested in health care, financial and the transportation and logistics industries.
  4. Three-hour police standoff ends, thanks to a cigarette


    TAMPA — A man threatening to harm himself was arrested by Tampa police on Tuesday after a three-hour standoff.

  5. Another Hollywood nursing home resident dies. It's the 9th in post-Irma tragedy.

    State Roundup

    The Broward County Medical Examiner's office is investigating another death of a resident of the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills — the ninth blamed on the failure of a cooling system that became a stifling deathtrap three days after Irma hit.

    Carlos Canal, pictured at 47 years old, came to Miami from Cuba in 1960. Above is his citizenship photo. [Courtesy of Lily Schwartz]