Got plans this summer? You could spend it on an island meeting people from all over the world and making money at the same time.
Hundreds of college students and others age 18 and up come to Mackinac Island each summer for seasonal jobs as coffee shop baristas, clothing store associates, museum clerks or bike shop staff – kinds of work you might do anywhere. Many others come to America’s hottest summer destination for seasonal jobs that are a bit more extraordinary – horse barn help, airport aide, fudge maker, historic interpreter.
Either way, working on Mackinac is a unique experience that brings an opportunity to spend your summer in one of the world’s most beautiful and relaxing places.
Everyone has fun on Mackinac after hours. (More on that below.) But if you’re going to be successful working on Mackinac, here are four things you absolutely must do:
- Work hard – It’s not easy to become one of the Most Tourist-Friendly Cities in the country, but that’s what Mackinac Island is.
- Work flexible hours – Island visitors don’t just vacation from 9 to 5. They enjoy Mackinac from sunup to sundown, and then some. Being able to work a variety of shifts is necessary, and it’ll give you a well-rounded experience of the island, too. With your free time coming at different times, each day on Mackinac opens your eyes to something that you’ve never seen before.
- Work well under stress – Even though Mackinac has a laid-back and relaxed vibe for visitors, it’s a fast-paced environment for island workers. Strong customer service skills are a must whether you work as a dock porter, bartender or livery driver – and you need to be able to work well with guests even when the job gets a little crazy.
- Apply now – Prime tourist season on Mackinac starts ramping up in late April, and many seasonal workers come to the island for jobs starting in mid-May. But don’t wait until then to apply. Most seasonal jobs are filled long before May. Explore job openings here and get your application in now.
While there are unique challenges to working on Mackinac, there also are unique perks to the job. For one, no matter what job you get you’ll have an easy, walkable commute. No traffic jams on Mackinac because cars aren’t allowed on the island! Plus, many Mackinac businesses make shared dorm-style housing available to employees, so you’ll meet tons of other people your same age. And you get discounts at many of the island’s attractions when you’re off work.
Speaking of having fun after hours, you get to live where other people can only go on vacation. If your style is to string a hammock between two trees and hear the surf rolling up to the shore, Mackinac is full of breathtaking spots to do just that. A reminder, overnight hammocking is not allowed on Mackinac Island. If you’re all about the night life, Mackinac has a lively bar scene on summer nights with new visitors coming to the island every week. If you’re up for adventure, then Mackinac offers ample opportunity to explore – by hiking, biking, paddling or horseback riding – on an island that’s over 80-percent state park with more than 70 miles of trails.