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From exams to employment – summer job search 101

The exams have been written, books and notes packed away, and term marks have been released. As the winter semester fades away into distant memory, many of those students not returning to Memorial for the next four months have begun the annual tradition of finding a summer job. For some, it’s as easy as picking up some more shifts at your year-round place of employment, but for others the search may take some more time to be quite as fruitful.

No matter what the circumstance, the next few weeks of job-finding frenzy will be hectic ones – updating that dusty old resume before distributing it around town, waiting by the phone for interview calls, and finally showing off your job-worthiness with a great first impression. It’s daunting, to say the least, but there are tons of ways to make the whole process a little less painful.

For me (and I suspect many other recent Memorial graduates), the experience this time around will be a little different. With a theoretical degree in hand, I just left my job in retail after three years. After taking a month-long travel break, I’ll be back in town looking for employment, but not just another stint in the sales or service industries. I’d like to do something related to the four years of academia I’ve just completed before heading off to start graduate studies in the fall.

Sounds simple, but it’s harder than you may think. The university and the provincial government are the two most likely sources of employment for those in my situation, having just finished an undergraduate degree in the humanities or social sciences. Whether it’s as a research assistant for a professor in your department or a summer intern at the Confederation Building, the university and government offer many opportunities to further your relevant job experience.

But what about everyone else? For those of you returning to Memorial in the fall, you may just be looking to get some quick cash. However, that doesn’t mean you need to slave away at a sun-deprived mall or call center for the next four months. On the contrary, there are lots of jobs both in and outside of the city that will offer you the chance to experience something new and have an exciting summer, all while making the money you need to fund your student lifestyle.

The Centre for Career Development on-campus is a great place to start. You can walk in and speak to a member of their helpful staff, or just take a peek at their excellent website to find job postings of all types, from tour guide positions to ESL teaching in Korea, camp counsellor openings in the United States to student marketing jobs with local and national corporations. Besides just jobs, the Centre for Career Development offers help with resume and cover letter writing, interview skills – basically everything you need to know about getting a job.

While the comfort of the library may seem a lot less scary than entering the workforce, the search for a summer job can lead not only to a great paycheque but can also open doors for future job opportunities once you’re out of school. The current global economic slowdown has made job-hunting more difficult, but with a little extra effort you may find yourself having an amazing four months at work before heading back to the books next fall. And if not…well, there’s always next year – your favourite study spot at the QE II Library will welcome you back with open arms in September, regardless of where your job search takes you this summer.

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