Ann Arbor, Michigan
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The Skyline Post

The Skyline Post

The Skyline Post

Eagles: Working Hard or Hardly Working After School?

Oliver Pung (’24) worked as an on-site building restorationist over the summer. Credit: Oliver Pung.

About a month ago, I left my afterschool job at Carter’s, an endearing baby clothing store near Veterans Memorial Park. Though my overambitious school schedule pulled me away, it was an incredible experience getting to learn the ropes of retail, and the extra cash flow was certainly a perk.

After finishing my college applications, I’m preparing to leap back into the workforce… somewhere. Going to LinkedIn isn’t exactly an option as a high schooler, and talking to friends gives oftentimes vague and conflicting information about where to apply next.

Like me, many students are unsure where to apply, overwhelmed by a perceived lack of information and guidance surrounding this large decision. The Skyline Post asked our Eagles where they fly for after-school cash.

Customer service (and especially food service) seems to be a common thread for most high school jobs. “Every day you’re dealing with difficult people,” says Henry Ward, a cashier at Angelo’s. “You have to have good social training, which is something not a lot of people have good control of.” 

These annoyances can lead to self-growth and improved social skills, however. “You get a lot of life experience from working in a restaurant,” corroborated Mary Ellen Vance (‘25), a busser at Zingerman’s Roadhouse. “[You learn] how to deal with customers [who] have different expectations.” 

According to Finley Burns (‘24), a cashier at Culver’s, the abundance of these jobs and their accessibility for teens makes them especially appealing for Skyline students. “I worked in customer service a little bit before [Culver’s],” Burns said. “They were paying well, and it’s five minutes away from the house.”

Some students take an untraditional approach. “I work on a vineyard with kind-of-family, but I do a lot of taking care of plants, trimming plants, watering them, moving stuff, and a lot of weed whipping,” said Dorian Buczec (‘26). “It’s hard work waking up early, moving around, [and] making fences. It’s hard on your body, but it’s really rewarding.”

Hours can vary dramatically depending on location.  Many workers lament how hard it can be to schedule around extracurriculars sometimes. “Hours would be after school 3-11 [at Zingerman’s Roadhouse,” Vance explained. “We close at 8:00, but there’s always stuff going on. On the weekends it would be 8:00–4:00.” 

While many businesses have recovered from post-COVID understaffing crises, many still have altered hours to accommodate a smaller workforce. For example, Carter’s hours vary depending on employer availability, leading to a more dynamic working schedule. 

“I’m just working Friday, Saturday, and Sunday now,” added Burns.

The “hot spots” for high school employment in Ann Arbor are clear: Barry’s Bagels, The Session Room, Zingerman’s Roadhouse, and supermarkets like Target and Meijer are the most common jobs. For anyone wishing to work with friends, these are clear options, though many report that lining up shifts can be difficult.

With a new trimester underway and the gift-giving holiday season coming up, there’s no better time to join the fray and send in some resumes!

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About the Contributor
Benji Davidoff, Section Editor
Benji Davidoff ('24) is the Lifestyles Editor at The Skyline Post. You can often find him working in the theater or arguing about politics with friends.