At this point in the semester, most students have either lined up a summer job/internship or accepted the slow heat-death of a summer stuck at home. Some others are still holding onto hope of summer employment, but their options grow slimmer by the day as the semester comes to a close and positions become more scarce.
Noticing this population in need, both major national companies, such as Target and Starbucks, and local Tulsa businesses, such as Quiktrip and Pie Hole, came to recruit at the first Customer Service and Reception Summer Job Fair last Friday in the Student Union. The fair aims to give employment opportunities to students without other feasible summer plans and to give students with degrees like elementary education and vocal performance a taste of their inevitable fates.
Most booths at the fair simply featured trifolds displaying the job’s expectations and any perks they offer, such as allowing 5-minute bathroom breaks and paying $7.50 an hour. Pizza restaurants brought small slices for interested students to sample as they listen to employees talk about an average day on the job and opportunities for advancement.
Quiktrip went above and beyond by bringing a cash register and having students do mock checkouts and bagging. General Manager Alex Kimi felt that this process was invaluable for “helping them develop integral skills for their success over the summer.” It also helps to give potential employees an opportunity to prepare for the complexities of customer service. Some mock checkouts had no issues to prepare for the job’s monotony, but some came with problems like missing barcodes, customers forgetting their wallets in the car or being robbed at gunpoint.
The general consensus among attendees seemed to be one of defeat and acceptance. Sophomore Allan Pau notes that he feels “bummed out that these are the only options left, but I have to admit that I did this to myself.” Monica Vika shares Pau’s sentiment, stating that “as a freshman, I didn’t even bother trying to look for an internship this year. I’ve been well aware of my fate…” Though both students are hoping for a cashier job at Target, Vika has only received an interview from Starbucks and Jimmy John’s seems interested in hiring Pau as a delivery driver.