Web site helps students find cool summer jobs

You didn’t get that internship you wanted and summer is a mere four weeks away. The thought of returning to your old job back home isn’t appealing to you either. Don’t fret. There’s still a little time to set up a challenging, yet fun summer job. Web sites like www.coolworks.com have extensive databases of summer work opportunities. Whether you want to work on a cruise ship, at a resort, on a ranch or at plenty of other fun options, there are choices out there for college students. Several people who worked at Yellowstone National Park created the Web site in 1995. The site’s creators wanted to produce a resource for people from all over the country looking for jobs at national and state parks, ranches, summer camps, cruises and other interesting fun jobs as opposed to people in search of resume-padding employment. “Work experience is a good thing for some people who want to be in the hospitality field, but the folks who come here aren’t just in it for the experience,” www.coolworks.com director of operations Patty Bishoff said. “They are students and other people with a wide range of ages coming together from all over the country to have a great summer.” Bishoff said the featured employers offer housing and food for free or a minimal cost. This makes for an easy transition into a summer job, Bishoff said. One way students can get paid this summer is by bonding with nature. At Triangle X Ranch in Moose, Wyo., 50 percent of its summer employment is college students. Although the traditional starting jobs, like being a waitress or cook, have little to do with ranch life, ranch hand John Turner said students can work their way up to being a river guide or a wrangler hand. Another perk to jobs like this is that room, board and meals are free, and employees still make $1,500 in monthly salary. “We’re famous for horseback riding and our trips down the Snake River,” Turner said. If you’d like to combine working with children and spending your summer outdoors, check out the various summer camp jobs on the site. For example, until May 15, Camp Ondessonk in Ozark, Ill., is taking applications for summer leadership positions, like being an activity director or unit leader for the camp. “It’s a great opportunity to learn life-long learning skills -communication, team building, leadership – skills you need in the corporate world,” employee Lee Smith said. “It’s more than just playing all summer. It’s very rewarding but hard work.”