The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

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Opinion | Stop asking women if they want children
Opinion | Stop asking women if they want children
By Grace Harris, Staff Columnist • 12:19 am
Opinion | Long-distance friendships are possible
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor • June 6, 2024

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Opinion | Stop asking women if they want children
Opinion | Stop asking women if they want children
By Grace Harris, Staff Columnist • 12:19 am
Opinion | Long-distance friendships are possible
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor • June 6, 2024

Pitt students describe search for summer opportunities

The+Cathedral+of+Learning.
Kaylee Uribe | Senior Staff Photographer
The Cathedral of Learning.

As summer approaches, the pressure to find a job or internship increases — with events such as Pitt’s career fair offering opportunities to look for them. Whether it’s to further career goals, make a bit of money or both, students are searching for ways to spend their time this summer.

Many students, especially those in fields such as accounting or tech, are entering into highly competitive application processes for internships. Internships in some cities are more competitive than others, with places like New York City, Dallas, San Francisco and Washington D.C. receiving the highest volume of daily applicants. Comparatively, Pittsburgh offers a large number of openings, with an estimated 147.24 available internships per 100,000 people, according to University Business.

During the summer of 2023, part-time workers such as lifeguards and camp counselors were in much higher demand than office interns, with the wages for these part-time positions rising with the demand. In spring of 2024, news outlets are reporting that the job market overall is in a “sweet spot,” with over 300,000 jobs added to the economy, the largest gain in over a year, and decreasing unemployment.

Paisley Weaver, a junior biology major, has looked at and applied to a few STEM-related internships for the summer. She believes that she may be getting an acceptance soon.

“I haven’t had confirmation about it, but I’m talking with them on Monday,” Weaver said. “Then there’s another one that I was looking at to apply to, but I would be busy during the time it’s happening, so it probably wouldn’t work out.”

She’s hoping to work in a field related to animals or ecology, though she expressed that she wouldn’t restrict herself to those areas.

“It’s kind of whatever I can take right now,” Weaver said.

She hasn’t found the application process itself to be difficult — she instead finds it more difficult to get herself to look for internships.

“It’s just trying to find the motivation to [look for internships], because I feel like it’s pretty competitive in certain areas,” Weaver said.

First-year quantum computing major Ray Wang has a research position looking at nano device fabrication for this summer through Pitt. He found that getting the position was relatively easy.

“I just emailed some professors, ‘Hey, I want a research position or join your lab,’” Wang said. “It was literally just three emails, and I got in somehow.”

While both Weaver and Wang are pursuing internships or positions in their desired career fields, some students are seeking out completely unrelated part-time jobs.

Jake Fulton, a first-year computer science major, went to the career fair to look at internships. He found that most internships at the fair were based in Pittsburgh. Since he’s from Maryland and plans on returning home for the summer, those opportunities did not work for him.

“The problem for me is that I don’t live here,” Fulton said. “It’s just not very convenient, so I’m probably going to go home and get a job somewhere.”

In regards to internships, he plans on searching for one “hopefully next year in Maryland.”

Brody O’Donnell, a first-year film and media studies major, ran into a similar problem.

“I live in Massachusetts, so I’m further away than [Fulton], here,” O’Donnell said. “I already have a summer job lined up. It just would not be feasible to take something and get an internship and live all the way in Massachusetts.”

This summer, he plans on being a beach security guard, a job he got through “family connections.”

“It’s not related to anything I do,” O’Donnell said. “It’s just a nice paying job, and I get to sit around at the beach all day.”