Excitement for Hire

Unique jobs offer students unorthodox workforce experiences

Bradyn Johnson | The Chronicle

Without the limitation of a nine-to-five job, students at Mason High School have expanded the traditional definition of a job to a new level.

From working at the Cincinnati Zoo to the Four Bridges golf course, teens are finding jobs that pertain to their passions. Starting with part-time jobs, students are finding ways to tap into their professional passions while simultaneously keeping their options open. Students often use jobs as a creative outlet, a way to increase their income, or as a way to gain work experience. Teens also use part-time work as an outlet to understand what they are truly passionate about. 

Junior Manasi Kanna volunteers at the Cincinnati Zoo where she engages new visitors and works with kids during the summer. She additionally takes part in setting up lights for the annual Holiday Festival of Lights. Kanna said that she hopes to become a vet when she gets older and that becoming a Zooteen has helped her do that.

“I really like zoology, and this volunteer opportunity does just that,” Kanna said. “It encourages your interests in zoology.”

Although Kanna’s time of working at the zoo had little to do with caring for animals such as lions, tigers, and bears, she was still able to maintain a love for animals through smaller species like armadillos, beetles, cockroaches and snakes which she handled during the summer months. Kanna said that through her experience at the zoo, she was able to learn a lot more than what she could have in a book.

“Hands-on experience is super important to learn anything,” Kanna said. “Volunteering helps me get that experience.”

Kanna’s experience as a Zooteen has not only furthered her skills as an employee in the corporate world but has also expanded her knowledge in the zoology world. Kanna said that it gives her more space to express her passions.

“I feel like it gives you a lot more opportunity and a lot more space,” Kanna said. “Not a lot of jobs offer that.”

Not only do these unique jobs create a pathway to interesting career opportunities, but they also open up college interests. Senior Dylan Materni is attending Mississippi State’s Professional Golf Management program, where he dreams of becoming a head professional at a golf course. 

Materni has tried to make his dreams a reality by working at Wowza Golf as a golf shop employee. Materni said his favorite part of his job was communicating with the customers. He was able to speak the golf language because he also played golf all four years at Mason High School. Throughout his time at work, and with help of his co-workers, Materni said that he was able to gain a lot of experience from working at a golf course in hopes to carry it on in the future.

“There has been a big influence,” Materni said, “They have tried teaching me the behind the scenes that not everyone sees.”

Because Materni was able to gain some behind-the-scenes knowledge, he had an upper hand in knowing what the industry was like. Materni said that he had to comprehend all of the terminology used in the business golfing industry, whether it be what brand of club it is to what material the golf balls are made of.

“I basically had to memorize all the technology on the golf clubs to be able to communicate with people who come into the store,” Materni said.

When Materni graduates, he plans on attending a golf management program to further his skills in the industry. Although Materni is still in his exploring phase, he said that he believes this program will do wonders for his future, whether that involves the golf industry or not.

“I think going into this program is going to help me open up my eyes to some opportunities out there.”

Materni has been unsure at times as he tries to figure out his future.  However, he’s always enjoyed the highs and lows of golf whether it be scoring a hole in one or missing a close putt.

“It’s something I’ve been passionate about for seventeen years of my life, and I want to continue that in my career,” Materni said.

Illustrations by Allison Droege