As the school year ends, students begin to consider applying for part time summer jobs.

For many juniors, working a summer job is a new and mysterious step toward adulthood. On the other hand, many seniors have worked part time jobs last summer and some have even continued working throughout the school year. Seniors Mikayla Mau, Amelia Mckenzie, Marissa Nakasone, and Caitlyn Nakatsukasa share advice and insight on their own work experiences below in a shortened version of their interviews.


Q. What type of job would be better fitted to high school students?

Mikayla Mau Retail is a little more manageable. Going into the food industry is somewhat risky and intimidating because of all the regulations, but if you’re looking for a challenge then [the food industry] is a great opportunity. Customers always tend to be a little more nit picky when it comes to  people serving food to them.

Amelia Mckenzie The positives of working in the food industry is that there are tips in addition to your paycheck, but it also means more work.  [The negatives are] you’ll probably never be able to stand still or relax.

Marissa Nakasone Retail because it’s easier and less stressful.

Caitlyn Nakatsukasa Food industry requires a lot of cleaning and food hygiene. Retail requires a lot of patience and customer service. You have to narrow down your options and see which one suits you better.


Q. What locations are best in applying for a job?

Mau Find a place that’s conveniently close. Especially if you’re planning to continue the job throughout your upcoming school year, [a closer location] makes it easier if you’re running late or even want to go early to work. Tourists are sometimes harder to communicate with considering their lack of English skills…I would recommend finding a job in an area that’s not quite as busy as Waikiki or Ala Moana.

Mckenzie Applying for a job closest to you is probably the best idea. There may be a time when you have to close up or stay late, so being near to home is safer and easier. Waikiki is overrated when applying for a job, since a lot of those businesses are large corporations with many applicants. They don’t pay well, and if you have to lock up, it can be a very dangerous place at night.

Nakasone Whatever is most convenient for you. [You] don’t need to worry about what location has more people.

Nakatsukasa It’s best to apply in the area you live in so it’s more convenient to get to and from work. Tourist places often recommend, if not require, two speaking languages.


Q. If you had to pick the most important factor that determines where a person will work, what would it be?

Mau The environment of the place determines your overall attitude towards work. Make sure… you take into account the people that work there, how the boss responds to people’s mistakes, and the rules that need to be followed. If you find any of those aspects to be a turn off, then I would suggest looking at another place for a job.

Mckenzie I would say hours are the most important. Summer is not just a time to work, but it’s also a time to have fun. It’s better to work at a business that is understanding and open with the schedule, so you can have a life on top of a part time job.

Nakasone Definitely other employees because they are the ones that make your experience. If you have great coworkers, work will be fun.

Nakatsukasa Pay, because if you’re only thinking short term like a summer job, then pay is really the only thing that matters. However, if you’re thinking of working longer than just the summer, then you may want to consider the benefits the company offers and the type of environment you’ll be working in.


Q. Any advice for students going into an interview?

Mau Dress nicely and professionally…it’s always better to be too dressed up rather than to be too dressed down. Even if you dress up a little too much, the interviewer will see you as a person who is taking things seriously rather than someone who dresses down and doesn’t look like they care. To prepare for an interview, I would recommend looking up frequently asked job interview questions and practice answering them. Also have a family member or friend help you run through some of the questions.

Mckenzie Dress depending on the business…but look like you put an effort into your wardrobe. You don’t want to dress in a suit and tie for a job interview at an ice cream parlor.

Nakasone It sounds stupid, but google interview questions [help] prepare yourself. You’ll be surprised at the variety of questions they ask you. Definitely dress nice. You want a good first impression.

Nakatsukasa Practice proper etiquette, thank the person for doing the interview with you, etc. Make sure you dress in the way you’d dress for that job. Don’t dress too casual or too business like. My dad’s company wears aloha t-shirts and pants, so when this person came in for a job interview dressed in a tux and tie, my dad (his interviewer) automatically sent him away because of the type of clothes he showed up in. It’s harsh but it happens.


“I’ve learned that pushing through the situation with a strong sense of perseverance in mind will get you through anything. Conflict shouldn’t prevent you from doing your job thoroughly.”

Senior Mikayla Mau [/one_third]

Q. What have you learned from working a part time job?

Mau There’s going to be conflict no matter what the situation is. I’ve learned that pushing through the situation with a strong sense of perseverance in mind will get you through anything. Conflict shouldn’t prevent you from doing your job thoroughly.

Mckenzie Balancing school and a social life on top of a job is hard work. Money may seem tempting, but if you need your social time and study time, don’t feel obligated to keep working just for the paycheck. It can cause stress and can hurt your physical, mental, and emotional well being, which a couple of minimum wage hours aren’t going to help.

Nakasone I’ve learned discipline because you need to follow the businesses rules. Also, I’ve learned that there are a lot of different people in the world. HBA does a really good job of sheltering their students and in a way that keeps us very narrow minded. But I’ve met a lot of amazing people who aren’t necessarily religious. They don’t have good families like a lot of us do, and it’s just really amazing to meet people with different perspectives and opinions.

Nakatsukasa Applying is hard because most companies don’t consider you unless they’re desperate. It’s better to have connections with a place you want to work with because they consider you more. Working is also hard, because you have to have a more flexible schedule and act more responsible.


Q. What should students expect from a summer job? What commitments will they need to make?

Mau Students should expect crowds of customers and working a lot of hours throughout the week. It may be strenuous, but the experience of having a job will prepare you for the future… You have to be willing and flexible whenever changes occur and not be too lazy to show up for work because consequences will soon follow afterwards.

Mckenzie You’ll have to miss parties, outings with friends, and devote at least several days per week to the job. It’s a large commitment, but it’s a great step towards being a responsible young adult.

Nakasone Less free time with friends. You have to be willing to pick up shifts if there aren’t enough associates working.  

Nakatsukasa Students should expect a lot of rude customers and complaints. You will get yelled at. You may even cry. But it gives you a better taste of the real world. They must know that working is a really big commitment, and they need to make it their top priority. If they don’t take it seriously, that company is most likely to fire them.


Q. Any other advice you have found useful in your own job?

Mau I would recommend taking a nap before work! Even if you’re a little tired when you wake up, the time you’ve rested will pay off in the long run by giving you energy to get through those long shifts.

Mckenzie A job can seem like a great opportunity to get paid, but keep in mind that there will be times when you’ll really love your job and times when you really hate it. It’s important to remember that if you don’t enjoy your job, you don’t have to stick with it. You’ll have many part time jobs before you settle on a full time job. No job is truly perfect so make the best with the opportunity at hand.

Nakasone If you can get a job while keeping your grades up, do it. Not only does it help important skills such as social skills but you earn some money on your own instead of relying off of your parents. It’s your first step to independence! And that’s something to be proud of.

Nakatsukasa Always smile while working, even if you face rude or angry people.