West Side Students join the work force

Money, accomplishment, experience and independence. All great reasons to have a job. Many teens hold part-time jobs and all of them come with pros and cons.
Senior Gabe Acosta works about fifteen to twenty hours a week at Ford Dining Hall on campus. He says he loves it because he likes to cook and although it does cut into spending time with friends, he gets money which is nice when he can be with friends. Silver Dipper employee and senior Miki Arnold says she feels like she has no time to relax while juggling school, work and golf. For others, though, balancing so many activities helps them manage their time more effectively because they don’t have time to procrastinate.
Many West Siders don’t have to balance work and school because they work in the summer as camp counselors or lifeguards. Like several students, sophomore Allie Parker has worked at Happy Hollow Pool for six years as a swim instructor, and hopes to be certified lifeguard this summer. As she got older and had more experience, she was moved down to work with less skilled swimmers.
Another summer option is volunteering or job-shadowing. No, you won’t get paid, but there are many benefits. By volunteering, you’re helping other people, doing something fun, and learning new skills, as well as realizing what you may or may not like when the time comes that you do get a job. Lafayette United Way has a teen program called “Leaders of Tomorrow.”  Colombian Park Zoo also takes youth volunteers during the summer. Sophomore Maggie Hodges spoke of the program there by saying, “I volunteered twelve hours a week at a zoo. I love it ‘cause it’s my dream job. The weird shifts (4 hours, 3 times a week), did make it hard to travel.”
If you’re a teen looking for the benefits of a job, several places around town are hiring such as the West Lafayette Domino’s by Gretel’s, and the new Mike’s Carwash. Don’t forget the old standbys too, like yard work, house-sitting and babysitting, for flexible hours, no legal age limit, and on-the-spot-pay.
A less common idea is to start a business of your own. Sophomores Brad Krause and Michael Deranek have a DJ business called MDBK. Brad explains they came up with the concept for the business a couple years ago, because they both like money and they both like music. Eric Palmeri (who also started a highly successful yardwork business with brother Austin), taught them the basics over the course of a year. The boys raised money for their own equipment and began advertising for events. They even created tee-shirts to get the word out. Brad says, “We usually get events at least once a month.”
Regarding the future, Michael is considering pursuing DJing and Entertainment as a career, while Brad has hopes of “dominating all of mass media.”  He cites Nick Cannon an inspiration because “He’s the host of America’s Got Talent, has his own radio show, and is a club DJ. That is where I could see myself someday.”
Brad also explained that like other jobs, there are conflicts within a busy schedule, but MDBK can control that because they are their own boss. Their time mostly consists of practice so their events sound great.
Whether you decide to pursue your entrepreneurship dream or play it safe by bagging groceries, babysitting or delivering fast food, the benefits of a part-time job could be yours.



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