Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
Logo of The Mercer Cluster
Monday, Apr 15, 2024
Interested in Working for the Cluster? Ask about joining our Discord!

Guide to your summer job hunt

Summer is a time for us college students to finally take a break from classes and make friends, hanging out, relaxing and going to the beach our priority — except when we realize that summer also brings summer jobs. The sheer act of even trying to find a summer job can be difficult because some employers will not hire college students who must quit in the fall when they have to go back to school. Not all summer jobs have to be a horrible experience though.

Summer Camp Counselor

Pros: As a camp counselor you get to spend a lot of time with children of different ages and different energy levels. You get to go on field trips, come up with game ideas, go to the pool, play sports, watch movies, do arts and crafts and many other activities that vary from camp to camp -- basically you get to be a kid again. Being a counselor is a relatively easy job and is similar to babysitting but on a much bigger scale. The ideal thing about summer camp is that it’s in the summer, and your employer will not need you to work during the school year and will most likely expect you to have to leave in the fall.

Cons: The idea of working with children can seem fun and exciting but can also be frustrating and annoying. You will not always have control over the age of the children you are responsible for. You could end up as a counselor to a big group of four-year-olds who may have the occasional bathroom accident or cry when they miss their parents. Four-year-olds are at a very needy point in their lives and will constantly want your attention and have more energy than you, even after you have had your morning coffee. On the opposite end of the age spectrum, you could have a class of young t(w)eens who are anywhere from 12 to 14 and think  they are the ones really in charge. They will most likely not be impressed by any of your game ideas.


Pros: In many states you can be a bartender starting as young as 18. Bartending can be a fun job that leaves your days completely free. It is the perfect job if you enjoy socializing with people and love the nightlife aspect of any downtown. While working during the summer, you are sure to learn new tricks on how to make a variety of drinks which you can use to impress your friends at your next party.

Cons: Bartenders get to serve all types of people. This includes a fun group of college students or the older guy who stands in the corner and has had way too much to drink and wants everyone to know it. The pay for a bartender is not always optimal because you will usually have a set wage (a pretty low one) and then tips to balance it out. This means that if not a lot of people are at the bar or you are just having an off night, you could make very little money.


Pros: Many companies offer summer internship programs specifically for college students. An internship allows you to have a set amount of hours, and it allows you to earn work experience in a professional environment. The most beneficial part of an internship is the experience you gain while working in the field you are studying in school. This experience will make your resume stand out more when it comes time to find a job in the real world.

Cons: More often than not, an internship will be unpaid, and sometimes it may even come with other expenses. Some internship programs will require you to move for the summer to the city where the internship is located. If you take part in an internship outside of your hometown, you will run into housing expenses, grocery expenses and the general cost of living on your own, all while you pay someone to work for them. The rare and elusive paid internship does exist and offers a high reward for anyone who has the patience and ability to find one.

Grocery Store Bagger

Pros: Bagging groceries can be an easy and mindless job that allows you to interact with different people every day. Grocery stores are typically well-established businesses under good management. Employers tend to want friendly workers who interact with people well, so you can almost always count on having co-workers who are friendly and pleasant. A grocery store is run just like any other business and will give you a fixed schedule and reliable pay.

Cons: People often go to grocery stores right before they go on picnics, camping or to the beach. You get to talk to people who are in the checkout line about their plans for the day, but when the conversation ends and they head to the beach, you are still stuck inside bagging an old lady’s cat food for the rest of the day. During the summer, the Fourth of July is the main holiday that comes up. Many other business close on the Fourth of July, but people still need to buy food for their holiday cook outs, so you will most likely still have to work.




Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2024 The Mercer Cluster, Mercer University