Summer break officially begins after finals in May and lasts until the last week of August, but for sophomore computer science and digital media major Cole Hornung, August has meant a lengthy work schedule.
Hornung works at his family-owned lemonade stand at the Indiana State Fair from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily. Although he works more than 116 hours a week, he said he learns more about himself and his major while working.
“Even though I’m a computer science major, digital media is the artistic element, so I need to know how marketing works,” Hornung said. “I’m also able to expand my social skills. I am usually pretty reserved, so I’m surprised sometimes at the things I say. It gets you out there and gives you experience.”
Assistant Director for Financial Services, Manufacturing, Logistics and Entrepreneurship at the Professional Edge Center Kirk Bryans said that even the simplest summer job can be useful for your major.
“Anytime you have customer interaction or [you’re] dealing with the public, it’s going to be a really good thing to put on your resume, because when you deal with the public not everyone is happy,” Bryans said. “So you have to deal with conflict resolution, which is super-important no matter what your job is.”
According to Hornung, his favorite part about the state fair is the public.
“Honestly, people-watching is my favorite part,” Hornung said. “You get to see some cool-looking people, but also some interesting people.”
Hornung has had his own experiences dealing with the public at the state fair and in some circumstances he said it gets irritating.
“Something funny that some people do that kind of gets old real quick, is [that] they don’t read the signs,” Hornung said. “I’ve had some people walk up and ask, ‘How much is a shake-up?’ when it’s right in front of them on a sign with the prices. I guess the summer heat gets to them.”
Although he has to deal with difficult customers, Hornung said he enjoys the job and knows it will be helpful for his future career. Bryans said the Professional Edge Center is open to help students find jobs and internships and recommends that freshmen meet with someone at the center as soon as possible.
“The Professional Edge Center isn’t just for sophomores, juniors and seniors. It is for everyone, and especially freshmen,” Bryans said. “If we get to know you early and [see you] often then we can help you for four years. If we get to know you two weeks before graduation, we can only help you for two weeks before graduation. It makes it much more difficult.”
The Professional Edge Center has moved from the Alumni House to the Schwitzer Student Center room 209.