Take advantage of seasonal job offers

As the term draws to an end and students prepare for the month-long vacation ahead, some are wondering how to make extra money over the holidays.

The Portland State Student Employment office, part of the Career Center, is an excellent resource for students to find seasonal jobs.

According to Rosemarie West, student employment coordinator, employers have been reluctant to hire early for the holiday season this year. She expects to receive listings for seasonal work within the next week.

West said that degree-related jobs are very hard to find for seasonal work, but any experience that relates to career goals will look good on a resume. However, she explained that students are not particularly concerned with finding degree or career related jobs during the brief winter break.

“Students want extra money during the holidays for tuition and books,” West explained.

The most popular seasonal employer is United Parcel Service (UPS). West said, “If you just want to make money during the Christmas season you could work for United Parcel Service and do pretty well at that.” She added that students like the flexibility of the schedule, the part-time hours and delivering Christmas presents.

UPS will be conducting interviews next Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at an information table between Smith Center and Cramer Hall.

There are a variety of other seasonal job openings including clerical, child-care, general labor, retail and bike patrol. There is even a three day job in December that entails counting pedestrians in six hour shifts for seventy-five dollars a day.

Volunteer work is another way to spend the winter break. Poly Birge, a third year sociology major and office manager for the Women’s Resource Center, shared how volunteer experience can be valuable when applying for scholarships.

Birge said that her volunteer experience, mainly in women’s advocacy and gay and lesbian issues, helped her win two scholarships out of the three she applied for.

She explained, “To have that extra icing on the cake and be able to say, ‘I went out and was able to help other people,’ even if you’re not paid for it, it’s going to be worth it in the end.”

The bulletin board outside the women’s resource center, in the basement of Smith Center, holds informational fliers about various volunteer opportunities.

To access job opportunities using the Career Center’s online database, go to www.career.pdx.edu/ and register with “PSU Career Connect.”

To look at the job descriptions offline or to ask for help registering with Career Connect, go directly to the career center on the fourth floor of the university services building.

Career Connect allows students to upload their resume, cover letter and transcripts to easily e-mail them to prospective employers. Other features include a calendar of upcoming events, internships and e-mail notification of new listings.

West shared a tip for students who are job hunting, regardless of the time of year or type of job, saying, “A lot of people find their jobs through networking. Eighty percent of the jobs that are open at any given time are not listed.”

West went on to say that the Career Center helps students find out about these jobs that are not listed and teaches them how to network.

The Career Center also offers individual assistance with interview preparation. Of course, students usually find this useful when searching for a permanent degree-related or post-graduate job.

West said, “A lot of students know how to do the work, but they don’t know how to interview for it.”

Just a few of the other services the Career Center offers are: resume workshops, individual assistance, career choice workshops and alumni assistance.

In addition, the Career Center provides listings of volunteer opportunities and community work-study openings. An abundance of materials are available to students, ranging from career descriptions to company literature.