Custom Concern: Gotta Go to Work

Dan Huycke, Sentry Staff Reporter

Many folks figure that after high school there are two options: more school, or the workforce. However, some students have already begun to juggle both. Job descriptions amongst the student body vary greatly, from a baker or filmmaking intern, to froyo clerk or even a trainee technician at your local Mercedes-Benz dealership.

Ascertaining these gigs was easier than expected.

“A good friend of mine [knew] I was looking for a job and he said ‘why don’t you come down to the bakery?’ And I went down there and shook some hands and put in the work and I’m working there now,” said senior Nicholas McNulty about his very recent acceptance into the Heidelberg Bakery crew.

McNulty is now all cocked and loaded to bust out the blood, sweat and tears for the remainder of the school year and into the summer to earn that paycheck. Money is his only motivation.

“I need money,” said McNulty.

Money isn’t the only incentive to come to work in the morning. As Senior Class President Vica Hicks said about her film production job, “I didn’t know I was going to get paid for it until I got there. They said I was going to be there for so many hours so I had to get paid for it. But the primary reason I wanted [the job] was because I’ve always wanted to work in the film industry.”

Hicks works at a D.C.-based film production company near Eastern Market that specializes in contract gigs for under-the-radar, indie clients looking for a fresh new perspective on cinematography.

No matter how distant the job site might be, the general consensus seems to be that working as much as possible is worth it– for the pay, and gaining hands-on, real-world experience.

“I plan on working every single day of the week,” said senior Josh Amery in regards to his assistant technician job at the Ballston Mercedes-Benz dealership (and with great suspenseful hesitation between the words ‘day’ and ‘of’).

Working the dealership is a seasonal job for Amery, but some workers who work year round must learn to adapt to changing weather and seasons. Junior Sarah Jane Robertson explains how the customer flow working at a frozen yogurt shop at Williamsburg Shopping Center changes dramatically with the shift to warmer, sunnier weather.

“It gets a lot less busy during the winter, so I don’t have to work as much during the winter and then over the summer I work a lot more,” said Robertson.

It may seem overwhelming and even dangerous for a high school student to devote so much of their precious time to making money, but it is not without cause and reason. The hours go by quicker than one might think, and that time adds up on the paycheck. What to do with all that hard-earned cash is the next question on everyone’s mind.

“I plan on saving it. Putting some of it in the stock market and letting it grow. Buy low, sell high!” said Amery. McNulty could not agree more.