But luckily for students living in Chapel Hill over the summer, there are plenty of resources available to make the search for summer employment a little less stressful.
Jade Barricelli , University Career Services coordinator of job location development, said she works to connect students with part-time job opportunities through the numerous resources available to them.
Barricelli said she encourages students looking for summer employment to check out Careerolina , which many local employers post job opportunities on.
During registration on the site, students can opt to have weekly emails sent to them by Barricelli about part-time job openings in Chapel Hill.
As far as working on campus during the summer goes, Barricelli said it can be tough to find a job because summer positions are usually filled by people who have worked with the campus organization before.
Senior Jordan Barham , who has worked at the Student Stores post office over the last several years, said she maintained her job throughout the school year and into the summer leading up to her junior year.
“It’s such a small department that getting a job there you kind of have to know someone,” she said.
Fortunately, local businesses on Franklin Street and elsewhere in Chapel Hill need positions filled during the summer months when many of their student employees leave.
Barricelli said when looking for employment on Franklin Street, it’s best to go in and inquire, even if they don’t have a “Now Hiring” sign in their window.
“A lot of businesses have no indication (that) they’re hiring, but actually are,” she said. “They get enough people that walk through their door, so they don’t have to advertise.”
Barricelli encourages students going door-to-door to bring their resumes, put their phones away, dress nicely, and be prepared to fill out an application on the spot.
Mike Handy , who hires for the Student Store’s main sales floor and Pit Stop , said he prefers when students come in prepared with their applications.
“I’m old school about it,” Handy said.
One manager at Franklin Street’s Ben & Jerry’s , Mallory Sturdivant , also said she appreciates students who apply in person.
“It puts a face with the name, and you can see who really wants to be here,” Sturdicant said.
Internships offer another opportunity for students to gain work experience over the summer.
For students who are unsure about what they want to do academically or career-wise, internships provide a great opportunity to explore options, Barrecelli said.
But ultimately, some summer jobs are better than others, and not every job or internship will fall under a student’s long-term career goals.
Barricelli said it’s a matter of communicating the transferrable skills a student might gain from summer work onto their resume.
“The more related to their field, the better,” she said. “Sometimes it’s not that simple. You’ve got to market yourself on your resume.”
At businesses like Ben & Jerry’s, Sturdivant said students can gain skills such as customer service, teamwork, problem-solving and self-motivation — skills that can apply to any future job.
Whether you’re just looking to make money or to gain transferable experience, Barricelli said doing something is better than doing nothing.
But Barham said the warm weather can be tempting enough to do just that — nothing.
Barham acknowledged that there were times when the sun was out and she wished she didn’t have to work.
“But beyond that, it’s a pretty good situation,” she said.