Summer job=career

Joshua Rudnik

Joshua Rudnik

The idea of a summer job is often painful but it is almost a necessity in these days. What else are you going to do to pay for all of those loans? Holding down two jobs is almost as commonplace.

In that aspect, Stephanie Akers, an SDSU student for four and a half years, does very well. Not only did she have a full-time summer job at the Hot Springs, S.D. waste water treatment plant, but she also works part-time at the Pamida store there.

Akers applied at the plant six years ago for a summer painting job. What started out for just one summer has blossomed into a recurring summer job and a career following school.

“I started working there when I turned 16,” Akers says. “Over the years, my interest in becoming a certified operator increased. By my fifth year there, I know it was what I wanted to do.”

Painting is still part of the job, but she must also jet sewer lines when they back up, do preventive and vehicle maintenance, and take lab samples; a job which she dubs “fun.”

“The people I work with are awesome,” Akers says. “I also get to run a lot of equipment, like the backhoe and jet truck.”

Akers will graduate in December with a biology degree and has already lined up a job working for the plant in Hot Springs as a class two waste water treatment operator. Not only does it offer her a permanent job doing what she likes, it also includes a big pay raise.

As for Pamida, the past summer there was her last.

When she returns to Hot Springs following graduation, her job at the waste water treatment plants will change from a summer job to a full-time profession.