"What would be my dream job for this summer?" mused New York University junior Maura O’Brien as she searched online for an economical way to fill the summer months.
"I’d love to work at Disney World, as one of the characters that walks around the park, like Snow White or Belle. It would be so amazing to pretend you’re a princess and have all these little kids want to meet you! In my free time, I’d do the rides, go to the beach, and see the sights. They could just pay me with park admission vouchers."
As Maura and thousands of her fellow college students embark upon their summer job hunts, many will quickly become discouraged, giving up fun in the sun for financial glory. What if you could find a job that promised to give you excitement, entertainment, experience, and a little something to line your pockets? Students, such jobs do exist.
They are referred to as"working vacations," and for anyone willing to put a little extra time and effort into his search, a multitude of opportunities that span the globe, as well as the job spectrum, can be found.
Walt Disney World is not out of reach. The WDW College Program provides work opportunities and advanced internships to college students in the fields of resort management, entertainment, culinary skills, guest service, hospitality, merchandising, and yes, even character performers/greeters.
There are paid jobs and for-credit internships for which training is provided. The five-to-eight month program is a great resume booster, however, there is no summer-only option offered currently. For more information, check out WDWCollegeProgram.com.
Other ways to find a job like the ones already discussed is through travel agencies, which sometimes place students in child-care positions in English-speaking countries, or large corporations like Club Med that employ student workers during the summer months. Try to think seasonally, as areas that get a lot of tourist traffic during your vacation are most likely to be hiring temporary help. If you want to see some of the world without coming home broke, working while traveling is the way to go.
WorkExperience USA (WEUSA) is a program that places U.S. college students "down under" in Australia or New Zealand, working"mostly service industry jobs, (they call it backpacking) , like lifeguard or bartender," explained Anne Hart, WEUSA’s Down Under Program Director. Students are sponsored by the program, and given work visas, which are good for – or 12 months.
"Essentially, they work for three months, then travel for one, which gives them a chance to really experience the culture and entertainment available, as well as support themselves financially for the duration of their stay," said Hart.
Melisa Doberspike, a recent attendee of Arapahoe Community College and WEUSA alumni went from Los Angeles to Australia for six months, then spent an additional month in New Zealand, and rounded out her trip with a"relaxing one and a half weeks in Fiji."
"It opened my mind and eyes," said Doberspike."I sat down to dinner and it was like seeing all the cultures of the world. I met people from Italy, Germany, Holland, everywhere. Also, I learned a lot about native plants and soil, which was beneficial as I now work in the agricultural industry."
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