Downtown Phoenix students looking for work this winter break are greeted with numerous job opportunities within walking distance of the ASU campus.
The end of the semester is just around the corner, and students are keeping their eyes peeled for opportunities to make some cash as the holidays approach — especially after a long semester of spending their money on textbooks, tuition and Taco Bell.
While students are looking for work, businesses are scrambling to find employees for the busy holiday season, but new hires can be elusive. Many businesses remain understaffed as the pains from the COVID-19 pandemic continue. One survey found two out of five U.S. retailers reported being understaffed at least four days a week.
But students looking to take extra shifts during their winter break might fill these open positions.
Ben Richey, a freshman majoring in aerospace engineering, said he thought it would be hard to manage schoolwork along with a job during his first semester, so he decided to wait. Now, Richey's mindset has changed.
"I (wanted) to wait until the second semester to be settled in," Richey said. "But the more I progress into this semester, and the more money I realize I spend, it makes me want to get one right now."
This could be the opportunity to get some hours in after the schoolwork load is finally eased off students over their break.
Make money on the ice
Nothing says it's winter more than ice skating, and downtown students can work at CitySkate Holiday Ice Rink located on Central Avenue and Washington street.
The outdoor ice skating rink will be open from Nov. 26 to Jan. 6 in CityScape's plaza. In previous years, the event had professional figure skater shows and was decorated for Christmas with a holiday tree in the center of the rink.
Employees give out skates, sell tickets and help maintain the rink. The pay is $18 an hour, with late afternoon and evening shifts.
People who know how to skate can be ice monitors — employees who make sure visitors stay safe on the rink — according to Bobby Nelson, CitySkate's general manager.
Students who worked at CitySkate in previous years regularly return, which Nelson said is a promising sign they enjoy working there.
"We pay pretty well, and it's a fun environment," Nelson said. "I say it's kind of like working at Disneyland."
To apply, students can email their resumes, but positions are filling up quickly, Nelson said.
Experience your break at the museum
The Arizona Science Center, located on Washington Street, is looking for part-time guest sales and services associates with a starting pay of $15 an hour.
Guest sales and services associates handle admissions sales and answer visitors' questions about the museum.
The Arizona Science Center has interactive exhibits about anatomy, music and even Morse code. Certain exhibits are permanent, like Forces of Nature, a show replicating what it would feel like to be in a natural disaster.
The Arizona Science Center regularly hires ASU students, and they are flexible with students' schedules, said Corina Pelkey-Landes, a junior majoring in social work who works at the center.
Students can apply over LinkedIn.
Sell sandwiches over the holiday season
As far as convenience goes for working Downtown students, it's hard to beat Jersey Mike's, located in the Arizona Center on Third Street.
The sub sandwich shop offers a minimum starting pay of $15 an hour with part-time and full-time positions available. The location opens on Dec. 8, according to Ryan Haarklau, an operating partner, and students can apply here.
Employees will make sandwiches, work the register, clean the restaurant and learn how to operate the slicer, a machine that cuts deli meats into thin slices for sandwiches.
Jersey Mike’s helps students make sure they have enough time between work and school, according to Haarklau.
“They are students and then workers,” Haarklau said. "So, being a student does come first. We acknowledge that (and) we support that.”
Ike's Love and Sandwiches, located on Fourth and Garfield is also an option for students looking to get in the sub sandwich game.
This sub sandwich shop started in San Francisco has hundreds of sandwiches on the menu, some of which are unique to the location's community.
"If you work here after a certain amount of years, you get a sandwich named after you," said Jill Levy, general manager.
Employees at Ike's Love and Sandwiches perform regular sub sandwich shop duties, and they have to memorize how to make at least 20 sandwiches in their first couple of weeks, according to Levy.
The shop is flexible with students' schedules, but they have to work at least once on the weekend, Levy said.
"I feel it's a good job for them to get into the (workforce) and then learn a little bit of responsibility and maybe go back out when they get their real job and do good," Levy said.
The starting pay is $13.50 an hour, and employees get a free sandwich, chips and a drink every shift, according to Levy. Students can apply online.
Fatty Daddy's Ice Cream Shop
Students looking for a sweet place to work should check out Fatty Daddy's Ice Cream Shop located on Roosevelt Street and First Avenue.
It's a small store with a cozy interior and bright pink walls that serves more than just ice cream, it also sells Boba tea, coffee and pastries.
Fatty Daddy's Ice Cream shop frequently hires college students, and they look for people who are willing to learn and communicate well with customers, said Lana Zhou, the store's manager.
"It's an ice cream shop, everyone (who) comes in wants to be happy here," Zhou said.
New hires learn how to work the register, scoop ice cream and make tea. Starting pay is minimum wage.
Students who can only work over winter break are welcome to apply, according to Zhou.
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Kaden is a reporter for the Biztech desk, focusing on student run business, people profiles and research papers. During his time at The State Press, Kaden's biggest piece was about ASU's history with NASA. He's a sophomore majoring in Journalism and Mass Communication.