"I've always loved working outdoors," said Russell.
Russell will spend her summer as an interpretive aid at Nathan Boone's Homestead State Historic Site.
"Getting out in my major, my field, it's just something that I would to do for the rest of my life and this is a great way to do it," she said.
The Historic Site is one of many parks in Missouri that currently have openings for summer jobs.
Gennie Strain, Career Manager for the State Park Youth Corps, said summer jobs give young people invaluable experience.
"It gives them opportunity to have work experience, and to learn how to follow directions, work as a team, think outsdie the box a little," said Strain.
Bill Smillie, Business Services Representative at the Missouri Career Center, said mid-April marks the middle of the summer hiring season.
"May 1st is the end of hiring season for folks who are looking for seasonal work or especially just for the summer," said Smillie.
He said the summer job applicant pool this year is competitive.
"Based on unemployment, the job market should be really hot this year. A lot of older employees out there looking for jobs. And those people are taknig away jobs from younger people," said Smillie. "I think the market is especially competitive, especially for summer jobs."
If you are planning to get a summer job and have not yet applied, it's not too late. Many chains, like Andy's, have openings for summer hires.
"We've hired quite a few people," said Gary Marker, an Andy's Manager. "But after these people get trained, we'll hire a few more before the summer officially starts."
Marker said Andy's typically hires multiple people for the summer when employees from local colleges graduate or leave for vacation.
"The perfect candidate likes people and is someone who likes succeeding," he said.
A love of the product, like Andy's frozen custard, doesn't hurt, either.
"It certainly helps," said Marker.
Smillie said there are ways to increase your chances of getting hired for a summer job, including having your resume ready to go, brushing up your interview skills, and improving your communication to work with the public.
He also added to network with friends, groups, or organizations you may be a part of to learn about positions that are not already posted at career centers, on job websites, or in newspapers.
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