Students at the University of La Verne often choose to jump start their working careers early by picking up a part-time job during school in order to pay bills or for some extra cash.
“It’s good to have money to spend to buy what I want,” Christian Leon, junior chemistry major, said.
Leon has been working at a grocery store for four years. He was hired on in the holiday season of 2006, and has kept his job ever since. He now works 24 hours a week pushing carts, loading groceries and stocking.
“I have learned dedication, responsibility, punctuality and how to be easy-going,” he said.
However, not all who search for a job are as lucky. As of September, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in California is at 12.2 percent, which is one of the highest levels in the last decade.
Not only does this make finding a job harder when students receive their diplomas, but it also makes looking for a part-time job almost unbearable.
“I’ve applied to many places but never get called,” Jesus Vargas, sophomore business major, said. “It’s probably the economy.”
Vargas has work experience on campus at the Learning Enhancement Center and the College of Business, but has not been called to interview at any of the more than 20 places he applied.
“I commute, so I need gas money and money for lunch,” he added. “I’m going to keep applying until I find one.”
For freshman biology major Brandon Flath, persistence was the key in getting his job at Securitas, USA, a company that provides security for events like the Los Angeles County Fair and NASCAR races.
“I applied to around 25 places, and no one was hiring,” he said. “I starting looking for a job at the end of my senior year in high school.”
Flath was lucky to finally get a job at Securitas. The money he earns helps to buy food, school supplies and other personal items, he said.
“A job helps build character, and is the stepping stone for future careers,” he added.
Another aspect of unemployment in college students at ULV is due to parental concern over studies.
“My parents don’t let me have a job,” Rojhane Navarrete, freshman biology major, said. “They want me to focus on school.”
Although Navarrete would like to have a job, she has never been employed.
“If you have a job you can buy all the stuff you want and not rely on parents,” she said.
Freshman political science major Sasha Jones is also unemployed because of her parents.
“I used to work at my old high school during the summer doing office work, but now I feel like I’m trying to get the feel for college and my parents don’t want me to have job.”
She also thinks that the high unemployment is due to the current recession in the United States.
“I feel like it’s almost a reenactment of the Great Depression,” she said.
Students who have jobs agree that getting a job is all about presenting yourself.
“Do all of the cheesy lame stuff that sounds stupid, but looks good to employers,” Leon said. “Make a profile of yourself of who you want to be.”
Flath stresses the importance of knowing the place you are interviewing for.
“Look your best, research the company and keep your appearance up after you get the job.”
Carly Hill can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.