Students keep part-time jobs while also juggling school responsibilities


Photo by staff photographer Amanda Yip

Senior Chris Wong puts down a tray of baked goods at his part time job. Students have continued to find ways to make money through a part time job or creating their own side businesses.

Siena Usui and Steven Aspera Jr.

While most students are relaxing or studying at home on the weekend, junior Maiya Kuwana packs shave ice into a cone while drizzling it with fruity syrups.

She began working at Uncle Clay’s House of Pure Aloha, a local shave ice shop, during the summer as her first part time job.

“For small businesses, they are really flexible with your schedule and the amount of hours you work. For me, I can choose from what time to what time for each week when I want to work,” said Kuwana.

Amidst the pandemic, students have continued to find ways to make money and gain valuable life skills, either through part time jobs or having a side business.

To apply to a part time job, you can search online through various job websites such as Indeed as well as going to businesses in person.

“I say apply anywhere, go into stores and ask for an application. A lot of food places on the lanai [at Ala Moana] have a lot of applications that you can fill out right there and you can just give it to them. Most of them would just give you one depending on if they’re hiring, or if they say they’re hiring,” said Kuwana.

Senior Chris Wong works at Brug, a Japanese-style bakery that has multiple locations across Oahu. He said that for him, having a job made him become more mature.

Chris Wong

“Another pro is that you meet a lot of nice people that you work with and they become good friends because you’re there and with them the entire day,” said Kuwana.

Travis Ito

Balancing both work and school can be challenging, but some high schoolers are able to find a way.

Infographic contributed by Dillion Balantac

“I believe that every or most students have the time to work, it’s just maybe finding the right job for them,” said Wong.

Having a part time job at American Eagle, senior Travis Ito said he works twice a week and is able to have enough time for assignments.

“I only work around eight to ten hours a week so it will just be Saturday or Sunday from like two to six or o

ne to six and I have the rest of the night to do school work,” said Ito.

Students may also be interested in starting up their own side hustle and having the option to follow their passion. Unlike having a job at a store, you are able to have flexible hours as well as being able to invest in yourself.

Besides working at a store, Ito is recently in the process of beginning an email marketing lead generation business.

“I go to businesses like digital marketing agencies and basically I would get them clients for a specific price. I would also talk to local businesses like chiropractors, restaurants and possibly get them on a call with the digital marketing agencies. So I’m basically the middleman,” said Ito.

According to Forbes, about 54 percent of Gen Z indicated that they wanted to start their own company.

John Cheever

“Persistence and perseverance are probably the two greatest elements of an entrepreneur, you have to really believe in what you want to do. That said, sometimes you have to know when to let go and move on,” said John Cheever, who teaches the entrepreneurship class at Mid-Pacific.

Cheever said that to begin a business, you have to think about several important factors. That includes asking yourself: why do you want to do what you want to do, what your values are, what is your personal mission, and what is your vision for your future? Then from there you can pair that down to a more narrow direction.

“Once you have your focus and direction, that’s key, and then there’s going through the steps of what is my network? What specific skills and advantages do I have that enable me to do this in a way that’s better or more efficient than other people?” asked Cheever.

There are several disadvantages that come with retaining a part time job or starting up a side business during these times as well.

“I believe that every or most students have the time to work, it’s just maybe finding the right job for them.”

— Chris Wong

“One of the cons is the exposure to people. Especially for food, people come in and get close to you when they’re ordering if they can’t hear and sometimes they’ll even reach over the counter and touch stuff,” said Kuwana.

According to the Small Business Administration with data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about two-thirds of businesses with employees survive at least two years and about half survive for at least five years.

“There’s probably an unwarranted glamour to entrepreneurship, people see people becoming very wealthy and there’s a lot more failed entrepreneurs than there are successful entrepreneurs,” said Cheever.

Since so many businesses have had to permanently close during the pandemic, it is also notably harder to start one up.

Maiya Kuwana

“If you have a business that’s reliant on people coming to your business, you’re in a really tough spot. That’s why we’re seeing our tourist industry, restaurants, and hotels getting hammered right now. Concert venues, musicians, actors, and theaters, it’s just a really sad time for them,” said Cheever.

Staff Writer Steven Aspera contributed to this story.