Off The Net: Summer Work Plans

Sheryl Burgstahler, Ph.D.

I asked the DO-IT Scholars and Ambassadors to share their current work experience, plans for work this summer, and advice for getting a job. Below are a few of the (slightly edited) responses they shared on our electronic discussion list.

I'm applying for a summer campus research job through the NASA Space Grant Program. But it will be awhile before I know anything.

I might be working in Portland this summer. The Commission for the Blind where visually impaired students or totally blind students can work in Portland. I have done it for a couple of years. The first year I did data entry and two other years I watched children. I don't know what I will do this year if I get to go. On top of having a job I get paid for I will be a peer counselor too, because this will be my fourth year.

Hello. I don't know where I will be working this summer. I have skills in using the www, gopher, e-mail, unix commands, word perfect, pico, and I was an intern last year.

I have a part time job at Dairy Queen. I have had this job for about nine months. I got the job when my mother told me that they were hiring. So I went down and got an application and filled it out and took it back and they called me to come in for an interview.

I might not work this summer at Dakota Systems because I have other commitments to other businesses and other people based on speaking device technology. I will also get paid for my work and traveling. My bosses are very sad to lose me to biggger businesses, but they understand my goals in life. It will be cool working with guys like Berry Romich and Bruce Baker who are the main minds behind speaking devices.

I'll also do some work on a state task force about speaking devices, getting funding for people that need them. I don't know how that will mix with my work with PRC, because it will be like a one-sided issue but I will try to look at it as a person outside of the business.

Hey, OK, so I've been bad and haven't had much to say lately, so I'll just chime in here. I will be stepping down this summer as OSU's Adaptive Technology Coordinator. We are hiring someone who is full time and isn't a student (big plus!). I have plans to release several new products this summer (that is...Nexus Computer Systems does), so that should keep me pretty busy. I also demonstrated access to lab equipment in a DO-IT exhibit at the National Science Foundation conference in Washington D.C. in June and will be an intern at the DO-IT camp in Minnesota in July.

The only real advice I have to people looking for a job, is "get experience". If that means volunteering, then (no pun intended) do-it. Along with education, the thing I look at the most (probably more than education) is experience. Experience not only shows that the capability to perform a job is there, but they enjoy doing it. People don't tend to volunteer for things they don't enjoy. If you can find a way to get experience while getting paid, that's even better. My advice is do whatever it is you love most...don't let the money be your main focus, if you truly enjoy what you're doing then it will be worth it, and eventually may even pay off with real money. Good Luck!

I plan to work for King County this summer. I will be doing "beautification" AKA weed eating. All I had to do was send in an application and they called me and I was hired. And now this year they called me up and asked if I wanted to work there again. I learned that if you do a good job when you work for people during the summer they'll probably hire you back if they need someone.

I am currently working at Bellevue Square mall in a clothing store called The Structure. However this summer I plan on working for either Costco, or a bank. I have found that if you really want something all you have to do is try. If at first you don't get something, go back and try until you do get what you want. Matt's also right about doing good work. If you do the company will really like you.

Hello All! Well, I've worked at Battelle for the past two summers as an intern student. Fortunate for me all I had to do was turn in the application and I was accepted. But, what I'm learning right now, while looking for a job, is I have to be persistent and not give up. Plus, I must leave my options wide open. I can't be too picky on which job I want.

Seeing other messages reminded me that I hadn't told everyone what I'm planning on doing this next year. First I better tell you what I've been up to. I've been a Freshman at Utah State University studying computer science. College life is definitely different from high school -- I was no way prepared for the difference in high school and college. I'm finally adjusting to it. As many of you may know, I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. At age 19, worthy men can serve a two year proselytizing mission which is completely volunteer and paid for by the missionary. I had some doubts as to whether I would be able to serve because of my physical problems. I recently got a positive report from my doctors, so I'm proceeding on planning on leaving in August. I will be away from the Internet and computers for two years, so I'll miss you guys. (Since this message, Travis was assigned to the Oklahoma City, Oklahoma mission. He'll be leaving August 21.)

Right now I'm working at Target, plus I'm going to college.

Well, seems everyone's said what their doing this summer but me. You all remember that government internship that DO-IT staff were talking about in December? Well, a few of us interviewed for it, and they put us all in a database that several departments (mainly Defense) of the national government look through. I said in my interview that I was interested in computers, networking, etc. About a week and a half ago I get a call from the 1115th (pronounced 1115th) Signal Division. They're based at Fort Louis Washington. Apparently, they got a flash from the Department of the Army, telling the 1115th to offer me a job. Needless to say (after all, summer classes are expensive) I accepted. So, I'll be doing networking stuff for the Army this summer. It's an internship, paid (Woohoo!), and it looks like a lot of fun.

These comments reflect only the "tip of the iceberg" when it comes to the many productive work experiences DO-IT Scholars and Ambassadors are pursuing. In addition, Anna and Lloyd have worked in the UW Adaptive Technology Lab, Lloyd and Kris will help out in the '96 DO-IT Summer Study session for new Scholars at the University of Washington in August, and the list goes on and on. When it comes to pursuing academic and work experiences, the DO-IT Scholars and Ambassadors jut do it!