Niskanen: Summer jobs in Aspen give local college kids different view of city | AspenTimes.com
Tristan Niskanen
Guest Columnist

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Niskanen: Summer jobs in Aspen give local college kids different view of city

Almost all college students have summer jobs. They either are working for money, for their parents, for fun or just because everyone else has one.

During high school, only some kids have jobs. Once you get to college, a majority have jobs as the focus of summer is shifted to being more job-oriented.

When researching what college students were doing for work this summer, I asked my friend Rennie Tucker-Meuse about summer jobs in general.

"I think summer jobs allow us AHS alumni to experience Aspen from a different angle, as a member of the working community and not just as a student," said Tucker-Meuse, who works for Aspen a la car, Lift One Condos, and is a transfer student about to begin his sophomore year at CU Boulder. "They also provide financial freedom, which is nice."

Just as the colleges that the students attend, the range of summer jobs is diverse. If you start in downtown Aspen, you'll find many college students working at your favorite places.

The Red Onion employs several students. I asked a few of the employees to comment on their experience. Jeffrey Stuart, a Colorado State University rising sophomore said, "I always feel rewarded knowing I'm making good use of my time in the summer. I'm building my resume and making money for college."

Andrew Tierney, a rising Sophomore at the University of Denver, said, "I love working at the oldest establishment in Aspen."

If you walk down the street toward the Wheeler Opera House, you'll come across Red Fox Frozen Yogurt, a place where several college students work. A sophomore at Colgate, Diana Flores, said, "I chose Red Fox because it was the perfect job to have after such a busy school year. Not only is the yogurt great but there is great people watching and interaction, too."

Added Katherine Doherty, a sophomore-to-be at CU Boulder, "I chose Red Fox because I wanted a real job because in the past all I've really done is babysat. … I'm also learning a lot about customer service."

Next to Red Fox, you'll find former AHS alumni working at Wild Fig and New York Pizza. If you walk down the street from New York Pizza, you'll come across Andy Vernier (CU Boulder) at Peach's or Victor Zumerchik-Dunn (Trinity College) and others at Lululemon.

The Hotel Jerome currently employs several college students. Among them are Aidan Keetly (University of Arizona), Jake Ferlisi (CSU), Nikko Wehse (CU Boulder) and Griffin Gilchrist (CU Boulder).

"I decided on the Jerome because it was such a unique place to work within Aspen," Wehse said. "The whole Jerome team is wonderful to work with which makes the job much easier."

For those who don't work at a business or restaurant, many rely on baby-sitting and other odd jobs. Baby-sitting also serves as a nice second job as it is flexible, good-paying and fun.

No matter where people work, they seem happy with their choice. I'm happy with my summer work although it's busy.

I have a radio show on Radio CMC, write for The Aspen Times, am an assistant to Lex Tarumianz at Pyramid Property Advisors, a research assistant for an author and baby-sit when I have time. This summer has been great for me. I have learned that summer work is not necessarily a necessary evil but rather a way to spend part of your summer. For me, experience is everything. I'm trying to learn as much as I can.

I'm impressed and happy with the work that my fellow college students are doing. It's good experience and a good time.

Tristan Niskanen is an Aspen resident and is a member of Aspen High School's class of 2016. He is a contributor to The Aspen Times this summer and will attend Colgate University this fall.