Summer for the average college student is an endless job search, and the residents of San Diego are no exception.
“I was hoping to help pay for my education,” said Gabrielle Batista, 19, who began her job hunt after finishing her first year on May 20 at the University of Nevada, Reno. Batista, a resident of Bonita, has applied to retail stores, food chains and pet supply stores, but not a single employer has contacted her. Batista’s conclusion about the lack of response from employers lies in the absence of paid work experience.
“I have a lot of volunteer experience that potentially qualifies me for whatever job I am applying for, but the thing is, that if you don’t have any paid experience then they are not going to really consider you. But how in the world am I going to get experience if no one even considers me?” said Batista.
Students attending local schools in San Diego, such as SDSU, have access to placement opportunities within the area through Student Career Services that students who attend schools outside of the region do not have.
Lisa Truomg, student assistant at SDSU Student Career Services, said the online services allow students to apply for internships, international jobs and local jobs within San Diego. Positions posted onto their website include employers such as Apple Inc., the SDSU Research Foundation, Invisible Children and small businesses that have been established for more than two years.
Students attending colleges outside of San Diego, without the aid of local job placement opportunities, must search for jobs on their own.
Most places in southwestern San Diego are always accepting applications, such as Jamba Juice, Forever 21, Regal Cinemas, Subway, McDonald’s, Kohl’s and the list goes on.
As of right now most places have stopped hiring for the season.
At Westfield Plaza Bonita Forever 21, visual co-manager Mayra Hernandez said that although they are currently not hiring at that location they will pass on any application turned into them to other Forever 21 locations that are currently hiring.
Regal Cinemas Rancho Del Rey Stadium 16 movie theater is still hiring for seasonal positions and any employee hired may be asked to continue their job based on their performance throughout the summer.
Students applying for positions that overlap the beginning of their following semester at college are faced with an ethical issue: Does the student lie about their summer availability and later quit once they return to school?
Edwin De Jesus, associate manager at Regal Cinemas Rancho Del Rey Stadium 16, said, “Oh that is definitely not an issue. It is always of our best interest that they get their education done first and we can work out their schedule if they are hired.”
Jeff Spradlin, area supervisor of the Kohl’s located at Eastlake Parkway in Chula Vista, said, “Within the last four years that I have been here I have probably seen that happen [quitting] with about two people. They will pick up a job during the summer and when school comes back and their availability changes, they are no longer able to either work or they just quit completely.”
Spradlin said that the company is certainly looking for long-term employees, but they “do work well with students and their work schedules so that it works around their school schedules. I know this because a lot of students already work here and I know that we are very lenient with availability as far as that goes.”
The Kohl’s at Eastlake Parkway in Chula Vista is not currently hiring for the summer, but is accepting applications.
The job search for Batista has not been an easy one because she will be leaving once the fall school semester begins, Aug. 27, in Nevada.
“I personally have a problem with lying too. Up until recently I have said that I am only going to be here for a certain amount of time, but that is the thing that puts them [employers] off,” Batista said, “There is this desperation that kind of has been ignited in me and I have been thinking of maybe just saying that I want part-time and maybe I will just have to leave eventually, but I don’t think I would actually do it. The job hunt is so desperate for me right now that I have considered it, but I very highly doubt that I will do it.”
Chula Vista resident Joshua West, 20, is a former student at Waynesburg University, Pennsylvania, who spent last summer working at a fast-food chain.
Today West promotes and sells Verve energy drinks in about five different countries, a business “that you can do regardless of where you are,” West said.
When looking for a minimum wage, 9-to-5 job, though, “You have to talk to the right people and you have to be asking consistently, pretty much wherever you go, ‘Are you hiring or do you know where anyone else is hiring?’” West said.
For Batista, the search isn’t over, as she said, “As soon as tomorrow comes the hunt is on again.”