APEX Foundation
Blogs, Understanding & Tips

How to land your dream US summer job

Thursday, July 29, 2010 by

Exchange student working as parachute packer SWT USA

Parachute packer

Does your dream summer job involve working in Miami, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., one of the major national parks or on the beaches of New Jersey? Or would you like to do something special, such as tennis instructor, horse-riding instructor, or a journalist? And how about working for company that you admire?

Students did it before and if you are currently in the USA, it’s time to actually do something to make those dreams happen!

You know full well that the only jobs which are available in volume are more or less cleaning and sales, in fast-food, motels and similar establishments. If you want something more exciting, you have to find it on your own!

And before you start kidding yourself, no it’s next to impossible to do that by spamming employers with emails like “Hello I am from a far-away country and I’d like to work for you” after you come back home. You have to do it NOW! While you are in the USA. There’s a couple of reasons why.

First of all, for anything but the simplest jobs that anybody can do, the employer wants to see you. That’s easier to do while you are in the USA. Second, you can easily show your current documents and your employer can call your program sponsor right away to verify that with such documents you will really be legal to work for him with them. And finally, apart from the opportunity to impress in person, rather than by email, you immediately stand out of all those other students who – only send emails.

What to do.

Dream location? Visit it!
If your goal is to work in a specific location, because you always dreamed about spending a summer there, then just go and visit that place at the end of the program! And while there, use these approaches (how to find a second job, also here) to find a job in that wonderful place for the next summer.

Dream job? Start searching!
If you want to do something specific, you may want to start googling for suitable companies now. Partly it will take you some time to locate them, and partly you will have to call them, and quite possibly call a number of them, to land an interview.

Your current employer and customers
Don’t forget these people. If you have a friendly employer, he may know somebody who can help you get the job you want. And if you work with people, one of your customers may be a boss of a company you’d love to work with. Keep your eyes open and don’t be shy to ask!

As far as we recall, we had students who worked as a horse-riding guide, bartender, waiter in a fine-dining restaurant, journalist, tennis instructor, accountant, maintenance in a care home, parachute packer, rafting guide, etc. Usually in their second summer, after they found these positions themselves. Go for it :-)

Exchange student trucking SWT USA

Keep on truckin'

Exchange student who worked as a journalist in Los Angeles SWT USA

Journalist in LA

Exchange student working as a bartender SWT USA

A bartender

Exchange student working as cranberry harvesteer SWT USA

Cranberry harvesting

Exchange student working as a housekeeping manager SWT USA

Housekeeping manager

Exchange student working as a wrangler SWT USA

A wrangler

Don’t forget! As a participant of the Work Travel USA program, you are not allowed to work with children, you can not come in contact with patients at clinics, you can not be a domestic worker or a crewmember of an airplane or a ship. Your program sponsor may also refuse to sponsor you for jobs that it finds too dangerous.

Questions? Ask below :-) In English, please.

APEX Foundation