J1 Students in Woodside, Queens, New York

Irish students head to U.S. east coast for jobs


J1 Students in Woodside, Queens, New York

Irish J1ers continue to report on another difficult summer finding work on their annual three month J1-visa stay in the United States.

According to an article in the Irish Times, students across the States are still finding it difficult to obtain employment Stateside this summer.

Jenni Skelly, of University College Dublin, told the paper how neither she nor her five friends were able to find a job in Santa Barbara, California, while Eoin Murphy, another Dublin student, speculated that employers’ reluctance to hire Irish summer staff was down to their reputation for binge-drinking and disruptive behaviour. “All the tourist places like Seaworld and the theme parks have up to 50 people queuing for interviews, and a lot of places don’t even consider hiring Irish students because of their reputation,” he said.

More have fared better on the East coast of America, though, according to the newspaper. DCU student Susan Fulton travelled with three friends to Boston for the summer with no pre-arranged accommodation or employment, but within three weeks of arriving they were sharing a house with 17 Irish students and had jobs in retail outlets, said the newspaper.

Dearbhla O’Brien, commercial director with student travel agency USIT, said that in general students fared better looking for work on the east coast rather than the west. “Resorts where Americans holiday are traditionally the best places to find employment and accommodation. Those types of locations have been very successful for Irish students in the last number of years,” she said.

Meanwhile there was also the usual crop of unsuccessful job applicants who had to return home due to lack of money, after cash literally ran out following failed job hunts. Others obtained success only through dogged perseverance.

Conor Hinds, of Ballinascara, Cork, landed a “good job” eventually, but not after two weeks spent looking down toilets and unclogging drains: “it was fairly crappy literally as well as metaphorically,” Conor told IrishCentral.com. “But I stuck at it and got a job I’m really happy with at least. But I still grimace every time I use the toilet,” he said.


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