By Ashley Posimato
The powerful rays of the almost-summer sun reflect beautifully off the Hudson River, over the campus’s most popular lawn– infested with students satisfying their desires in the form of a blanket and a book or a frisbee and a football– and into the daunting library windows where you sit. Sweat pours down your face as result of both the heat of the wall-length, fully lit window, and the quickly approaching deadlines and finals that at one time seemed intangibly distant. You stare mindlessly at textbook in front of you and although the words on the page are vehicles driving down a one-way street to the world of academia, the meaning you derive from them seems to look very different.
A grass hut creating the only shade on your exclusive caribbean getaway? A brand new expensive pair of sunglass to boast confidently as you walk along the shore?
Or a jobless, fruitless summer vacation, because school is almost out, your almost broke, and the chances of scoring a job as a welcome home gift are slim– especially this year.
Erin Hanlon, current junior at Marist College, has very mixed feelings about the closing of the school year.
“I mean I’m extremely excited for summer, to see my friends and my family,” Hanlon said, “But there’s almost nothing special to look forward to, at least not until I find a job.”
The likelihood of find a job immediately after returning home is especially discouraging this season.
Joe Conti, general manager of IHOP in West Babylon, New York, is already feeling the pressure of all the college kids returning from school.
“Some of these kids have worked here for four and five summers,” Conti said, “I have a strong loyalty to them but I only have so much to work with this year.”
As a franchise restaurant, there are constant requirements and limitations, including number of staff, that vary according to profit, and that each location must adhere to.
“I would love to take everyone back this summer, but I just laid off two servers and a cook,” Conti said, “I can’t give shifts to my college returners, after just taking them away from some full-time staffers.”
The willingness of companies to consider applicants, especially with the huge numbers being received, is declining quickly. At Marist’s recent Spring Career and Internship fair, students found that even as prospective interns, expected to work for free, they were experiencing equal difficulty securing positions. With jobs, and internship opportunities similarly scarce, it has become increasingly deterring for students looking for work.
Kristen Kapral, junior at Marist College, said that the shift of her main concerns is represented by her internet searches.
“This time of year I used to be on travel agent sites […] planning my summer vacation,” Kapral said. “But after having no success at the career fair, all I have been doing is searching internship engines, and job openings.”
The days of summer splurges seem to be irrelevant this season as students trade in their urges to travel and their well-deserved designer sunglasses, for human resources contacts and any possibility to attend an open-call interview.
“If I don’t get a job or an internship my mom is going to bug me to hangout with her everyday, Kapral said. “Either way it’s going to be one heck of a summer.”