In This Issue:
School’s out! Vegging on the couch was such a perfect plan those first few days of freedom, but now—not so much. The bad news is that the market for summer jobs, even for teens, can only best be described as a summer bummer. Not too many jobs are available and the positions that might best suit teens, such as restaurant, retail and the like, are being snapped up by twenty-somethings who are home from college and looking for job experience in a tough market. There’s still hope for you to find work! Here are some tips:
S: Show off your interests and abilities. Create a one-page resume to show to potential employers with info about you, your past employment and why you are interested in a particular job. Keep it short, sweet and neat, but put it on paper.
U: Up off the couch! Shop around for that summer job by visiting places that interest you in person, talking with managers, and dropping off your resume. Emphasize your flexible schedule!
M: Make a lasting impression—a positive one. Leave the ripped t-shirt and wad of gum at home. Appearance and manners count extra when you only have a few seconds of face time.
M: Master the art of the introduction. Shake a potential employer’s hand firmly, look him or her in the eye directly and speak clearly when introducing yourself.
E: Even the most disinterested managers deserve a follow-up. If you haven’t heard anything in a week, call the manager and ask if any positions have opened up or if they are hiring. Persistence is often rewarded.
R: Read the want ads in your local paper—many a great summer job has been landed amid the newsprint.
Summer is a great time to start preparing for your academic future. Read some challenging books, practice for the SATs and even do a little college prep. Colleges, especially those in your community, may offer a college-level introduction course for high school students. For instance, a group of 23 students from Dover High School in Morris graduated at the end of June from a summer academy at the County College of Morris, where they learned math, science and other skills to get them ready for their campus adventure in a year or two.
Brookdale Community College in Lincroft offers Step Up for high school students, a series of college-level courses in various fields that will help you figure out what you want to study in college and how to pick your college major. Most importantly, they will help you explore your interests. Many of the classes running in July and August still have available openings. Why not test drive a career in interior design with the course “So, You’d Like to be an Interior Designer?” Offered July 19-23, the course urges teens to come learn about design elements, space planning, human dimensions and codes and lighting. Maybe “Archaeological Field Camp” is more your thing. Spend three days in August digging a real excavation site on the Brookdale campus. Your summer reading list never looked so good as you explore short stories in “Literature: All About You: Searching for Self,” offered in August. These are just a few of the courses. For more, go to http://www.brookdalecc.edu/PDFFiles/OBCD/Step%20Up.pdf.
The Construction Industry Advancement Program (CIAP) of New Jersey offers education and awareness about the construction industry and the careers it offers. To further promote the careers in heavy highway construction, CIAP developed a 12-week summer internship with participating New Jersey contractors. These internships provide civil engineering students an introduction to the construction industry. Following the 12-week internship, many students are invited to work part-time while attending school. Upon graduation, many students receive full-time employment offers because of their internship success. Here’s one student’s story:
Civil engineer Christina Guariglia should not be enjoying herself so much as a project manager for Railroad Construction Company, Inc. In fact, she should not even be a civil engineer. After all, she was told by her high school guidance counselor to consider other career paths because the chances of being accepted into a civil engineering program at the time were highly unlikely. Fortunately, Christina does not ever back down from a challenge! She rolled up her sleeves and tackled that dreaded calculus course, determined more than ever to pursue her goal of becoming a civil engineer.
The result—not only was Christina accepted to the School of Engineering at Steven’s Institute in Hoboken, she received numerous awards and recognitions during her undergraduate years. While juggling a very aggressive academic schedule, Christina also gained invaluable training and work experiences through various internships. Her responsibilities in the field provided the perfect setting to apply what she had been learning in the classroom.
The very same experiences are still part of her everyday life years later, such as preparing plans and specifications for jobs, creating and altering Auto CAD drawings, and studying traffic flow patterns so strategies could be developed to reduce congestion. Christina has been employed with Railroad Construction Company since 2004 and was recently promoted to project manager.
Christina oversees the assigned job from beginning to end. “I love watching plans come to life,” she says. “It is also about choosing a career that interests you passionately. Have excitement about your job, work hard and success will come.”
Read other profiles of successful CIAP summer interns by visiting the Real People column at http://www.njnextstop.org.
Few jobs say “summer” more than a lifeguard. While this is a serious job requiring some intense skills, your office will be a prime piece of real estate, either in the middle of a crowded beach or poolside. Either way, you get to spend your days outside in the sun. Ever wonder what it takes to become a lifeguard? Here are a few tips:
• While age and certification requirements may vary from job to job, it’s a good idea to take a lifeguard training course or to become certified as a Water Safety Instructor. The American Red Cross offers lifeguard training, which will also include CPR and first aid.
• How much excitement do you really want? Lifeguards at the local pool probably won’t see as much action in the water as a beach lifeguard. Give some thought to how ambitious you feel about your time with the whistle.
• Shape up. That’s right, lifeguards need to be strong swimmers with endurance—and possibly save lives. How many laps can you swim? Maybe now is the time to find out.
• Put on sunscreen and a smile. You won’t be able to hide forever behind your dark sunglasses. Lifeguards need more than strong strokes, they need strong people skills. You’ll be around people all day, and possibly even teaching swimming lessons, depending on your certifications. Make sure you’re prepared for and enthusiastic about swimmers of all ages.