Now hiring? Not exactly…

Arielle Williams

Many Kent State students are still struggling to find summer employment

Many Kent State students are still struggling to find summer employment. A few stores in Chapel Hill Mall, such as Charlotte Russe, are currently accepting applications. TRACY TUCHOLSKI | SUMMER KENT STATER

Credit: DKS Editors

Shortly after she completed her Spring 2008 semester, Jennifer Short began looking for a summer job.

The senior architecture and environmental design major was looking for a full-time job to pay off her living expenses. She found it was more difficult than she expected.

“It has been impossible for me to find a summer job, and I know I’m not the only one,” she said. “I have actually applied out in Stow, Streetsboro and even Aurora, and I have only gotten one call back.”

Many students, like Short, are having trouble finding a summer job. Last year in Ohio, more than 5,800 people between the ages of 16 and 19 were unemployed, and more than 5,500 people between the ages of 20 and 24 were unemployed, according to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

“Given the weakness of the economy, youth who are entering or re-entering the labor force this summer may have a harder time finding work than in summers with more normal economic situations,” department spokesman Dennis Evans said.

When Short was applying for jobs, she said she made an effort to follow up and was persistent in making sure employers knew she was eager to work. But she has yet to find summer employment.

Students are not the only ones suffering from the effects of this economic crisis.

“Companies don’t have the payroll to hire more employees,” said Megan Morris, second assistant manager of Yankee Candle at Summit Mall. “It’s a never-ending cycle. We want to hire more people and there are people who want to work for us, but times are so bad right now that we just can’t.”

In some cases, if a student doesn’t have a summer job, then he or she is unable to register for fall classes.

DeNasha Buckhanon, senior communication studies major, is one student who is not sure she will be returning to Kent State in August.

“I started looking for a job before the spring semester even ended,” Buckhanon said. “Very few places were hiring and the ones that were only needed people to work part time. Almost all of them were only able to give me three-or four-hour shifts at a time, and there was no way that was going to work for me. I need to work full-time this summer because I need to save up to pay for my tuition in the fall. If I am unable to find a full-time job this summer, then I am not going to be able to afford to come back to Kent.”

Senior advertising major David Evans said he experienced the same thing when looking for a summer job.

“I applied at 15 to 20 different places,” Evans said. “It was an awkward experience for me because this was the first time since I was 16 that I had to find a summer job.”

Other students who are already employed are looking for a second job to help cover rising gas and food costs. Junior advertising major Bryan Brochak is looking to cut back some of his hours at TGI Friday’s so he can take on an additional job.

“I filled out applications at five to six places, in the shopping complex where there’s a Drug Mart and Blockbuster,” Brochak said. “All of them told me they would keep my application on file, but none of them were hiring,” said Brochak.

He also looked for jobs on campus and said that there were only two positions posted on the Career Services Web site. One of them was for graduate students only, so Brochak applied for the other available position. However, he never heard back.

“Students have to keep in mind that while money is important, experience is equally important,” said Ami Hollis, associate director at the Career Services Center.

She said students have to understand that employers want to hire people who have the skills needed to adequately fill a position.

Hollis also suggested students present a resume when applying for a job, even if it is in the retail or restaurant industries.

“It will show an extra effort, make you stand out among other applicants and will show that you have good written communication skills,” said Hollis.

She also believes that networking is very important when trying to find a job. Hollis recommended “(talking) to your friends about where they work, or to your parents’ friends to see if their places of employment have any available positions.”

Contact student finance reporter Arielle Williams at [email protected].