For many University of Colorado students, summers consist of many hours on the job in order to save money before the fall semester begins.
With about 20,000 students remaining in Boulder for the summer (according to a Colorado Daily readership survey), the job market can be competitive.
For Faulkner Griffin, who will be a sophomore this fall, getting an early start was key to finding her summer job at Alfalfa’s on Broadway.
“I started putting in applications in February or March,” Griffin said. “I started training at the end of April and started working full shifts right after finals.”
Griffin’s parents are supporting her through college, but Griffin said she’s hoping to contribute to her own expenses.
Lisa Severy, director of CU Career Services, said even seasonal jobs help fill students’ resumes with experience that can help with future internships and jobs.
“Even if the job is not in your future career field,” Severy said, “gaining experience in working with others, problem solving, communication and other core skills is very important.”
Severy said whether students are working in their intended industry or not, summer positions can provide good experience to build up career goals.
“At a basic level, summer jobs are great for making some money and usually collecting great stories to tell during future interviews,” Severy said.
Griffin said a flexible schedule is something she thinks is important to employers.
“There’s so many students looking,” she said. “They want open availability.”
Molly Enright, who will be a junior at CU in the fall, is filling a part-time job at the campus Call Center. She said her boss understands the demands of class, thus allowing her more flexibility.
“I like campus jobs because the people are more flexible with student work hours,” Enright said.
Enright said even though she doesn’t need to work because her parents are supporting her, she’s using the summer job as a way to start saving for graduate school.
CU graduate student Gregg Schill said he is working for survival. It’s all up to him to pay the bills and he said his research position is just enough to scrape by.
“It’s not much, but it’s enough to get by,” Schill said.
Schill said he’s working about 40 hours per week in a chemistry lab on campus, as part of his research requirements.
While Schill will work hard this summer to pay for necessities, CU senior Matt Lamb is reaping the benefits of his previous job with the Navy.
Lamb — who is also a member of Navy ROTC — is still receiving his biweekly paychecks as an active duty military member while in school.
Lamb said expectations are high during the fall and spring semesters between class and ROTC responsibilities. But this summer, Lamb is taking it easy working only about 3 hours per week for the ROTC department. He said he is utilizing his time off to stay in shape.
“I’m doing some races, adventure sports and physical training,” Lamb said. “I bust my butt during the school year, so it’s nice to relax during the summer.”