By: Siobhan Rahilly
Chattanooga, TN (UTC)– UTC students looking for summer jobs may be disappointed to find fewer opportunities than in years past.
Jean Dake, director of the Placement and Student Employment Center, said more part-time jobs for students were available last fall, but the flow of job requests from local companies has ”trickled down… with the economy bottoming out.”
Companies that employ graduates and interns have said they are hiring interns, but fewer. “It’s making the competition steeper for those jobs that are out there,” Dake said.
Kira Spears, a senior from Nashville, said she has a guaranteed job back home for the summer, but has been unable to find a second part-time job. Spears works at the Friday’s restaurant in Chattanooga and is transferring to a Friday’s in Nashville.
Even though Spears is lucky enough to have a job, she said that being a waitress is not guaranteed money in this economy. Spears said she usually brings home about 15 percent of her daily sales in tips, but recently made only $55 on a busy Sunday.
Some students have had to resort to taking out loans for summer classes in order to pay the bills while working towards their degree.
Luke Holcomb, Dalton, GA., sophomore, said he is taking out a loan for summer classes which will unfortunately be his main source of income this summer. He said he is still looking for a part-time job, but is hoping to get an internship that has recently opened up at his church.
Students who are looking for jobs related to their field of study should consider volunteering in that particular field if they cannot get a paid job or internship, Dake said. “At least that’s something else to out on their resume that relates to their field, and some employers look very highly at that,” Dake said.
Dake’s tips for students looking for opportunities are keeping an eye on UTC’s job posting Web site, as well as checking with the chamber of commerce and major employers in their home towns. She also advises students to network with family members and friends.