Winter break offers more than just rest and relaxation

Over Christmas Break, students return home not only for refuge after finals, but also to earn extra money. Photo by Emily Waller/[email protected]

Marquette’s Christmas break is more than four weeks long. For most students, it’s a time to catch up with hometown friends, watch reality TV and not even think about schoolwork.

For others, however, it is a perfect opportunity to make a few bucks.

Whether a three-week gig at a bookstore or returning to the summer job, there are opportunities for students who need some extra cash to work over the holiday vacation.

Shannon Ledden, a junior in the College of Business Administration, plans on going back to work at a Bemis manufacturing plant in Oshkosh. Working over the break is the best way to keep up with your bills, Ledden said.

“Honestly, I wish I didn’t have to work over break,” Ledden said. “On one hand I have ‘brokeness,’ on the other, my Beanie Baby collection and beer. The choice is pretty clear to me.”

Brett Bielanski, also a junior in the College of Business Administration, said he is going to work at the company he interned for over the summer so he could have a better chance at working there again next summer.

“Business is pretty cut-throat,” Bielanski said. “If I passed up the opportunity to work over break, there is no telling how many other Marquette students would be willing to take my place.”

Retail stores could be looking for extra help for the shopping rush at the end of the holiday shopping season. Richard Robinson, a professor of marketing, said in an e-mail that the holiday season is the most important time of year for many industries, particularly for the retail and restaurant industries, which account for one in five jobs in America.

Matteo Arena, a professor of finance, said retailers work hard to attract customers during December, and he also highlighted the importance of the next few weeks for businesses and the American economy in general.

“Consumer spending might be up from the last two years, a possible sign of the economic recovery that is slowly taking place,” Arena said in an e-mail. “Retailers are maybe discounting more heavily this year.”

For the majority of students, despite work opportunities, Christmas break is still a four-week vacation.

Ed Haberkorn, a junior in the College of Engineering, said he could go back to work for a few hours a week during break, but he would prefer to enjoy the only free time he will have for the next five months.

“I try to live by the words of Andrew W. K.: ‘When it’s time to party, we will party hard,’” he said.