By, Erin Morgenstern
As an OHIO alumna that spent two of my undergraduate summers in Athens between quarters (does that give away how old I am?), I am fondly reminded of how wonderful those few short months were as a true “local.” I am also reminded of the awesome experiences I had here, instead of feeling the pressure to go home and work the same old jobs from high school — babysitting and bagging groceries at Kroger.
I encourage every Bobcat to stay in Athens for at least one summer during their college career. Not just because summers in Athens are beautiful, serene and quietly small town (and they are), but it is actually a place that holds a lot of opportunity for career exploration and experience. However, I first have to break down the erroneous belief among students that it’s impossible to find a job in Athens that will help them later in life. In order to do this, I have made a list of a few summer jobs that every student has an opportunity to apply for (and make money from) in these beautiful Appalachian mountains of Athens County, Ohio.
The Summer Service Corp is an initiative of the Community Engagement program housed in the Campus Involvement Center. Through this program, students can apply for positions to work with local Southeast Ohio community based organizations each summer. Just a few of the local partners include Community Food Initiatives, Arts West, Hillel at Ohio University and Athens Children’s Services. Imagine a whole summer of getting paid AND helping the community that you have grown to love as your home away from home. Students can find out if they are eligible for this work study program through the Student Financial Aid and Scholarships Office. The application process starts in mid-March each year, so get your documents (resume, cover letter, etc.) reviewed in the CLDC to apply in the spring semester.
The URL name should give this one away, but it’s strange how many students don’t know how to apply for jobs on campus. Plus, many jobs do carry through the summer or ONLY hire students for summer. If you know you will be on campus for the summer, what better way to stay connected and get a little cash to pay for those books and rent in the fall than to get a job on campus. Many faculty and staff need help during this time because so many students are gone, which means that they are left with few staff to keep up with the everyday tasks of their departments. Apply for these jobs each spring and through the summer as they are posted. Many on campus employers do require a resume and cover letter, so come by the CLDC for those documents to be reviewed. We are here for you all summer, too!!
The Program to Aid Career Exploration, or PACE, is another on-campus, internship-like experience that students can qualify for and gain professional skills over the summer while getting a pretty sweet paycheck. These positions are based on financial need and students can find out if they qualify for PACE positions ANYTIME. There is a short online application process, and students can receive an instantaneous response informing them of their eligibility to participate. Very few students take advantage of these easy opportunities to get real life work experience because they think about it too late to apply, so be that person who does get it together and get some experience on campus through PACE next summer.
Everyone has heard of “temp agencies,” but often students don’t seek out these opportunities over the summer in Athens. Many local businesses have office managers that go on vacations or need extra help to get some side projects done when things slow down in the summer months. If you are someone who does not like the idea of long-term commitment, but also enjoys getting paid, this is the place for you. Plus, temp work can be great experience to list on a resume to show you have transferrable skills and understand customer service!! In Athens, our local temp agency is called Career Connections. It’s easy to apply and completely FREE!! All jobs on this site require a resume, so stop by the CLDC for a quick resume review before you submit your application to any job listed through Career Connections.
Okay, Bobcats, now plan ahead and get your documents ready for next year. Summer in Athens is fantastic, and every Bobcat should experience it! Be a local for a season and enjoy the best of what our beautiful Southeast Ohio has to offer while giving back to the community that you call home nine months out of the year.