While many college and high school students spend their summers waiting tables, working as lifeguards or babysitting their neighborskids, some are getting a jump-start on their future careers.

Nearly 50 high school, college and graduate students are participating in the WVU Facilities Management summer student employment program. Throughout the summer, the students can be seen weeding, painting, landscaping and doing other odd jobs around the WVU campus.

The program employs students who hail from areas as close as Morgantown and as far away as the Ivory Coast of Africa. Other countries represented include Kenya, Brazil, Mexico, Venezuela, Peru, Germany, Bolivia, Colombia and Indonesia.

By providing this opportunity to young people, Facilities Management is performing a service to the greater Morgantown community, while at the same time, WVU benefits from all their hard work,said Randy Hudak, director of Facilities Management.It is a mutually beneficial relationship.

While many of the students are toiling away in the summer heat, not all of the jobs are related to landscaping or maintenance. Other opportunities include design work for mechanical and general projects, while others deal with plumbing, carpentry, electrical repairs, heating, ventilation and air conditioning to maintain buildings across campus.

Roja Rani Budumuru, a graduate student in statistics, said her job in safety precautions and electrical maintenance is the first one she has ever had.

Its really interesting to work over here,said Budumuru, who came to WVU after obtaining a bachelors degree in electronics and communications in her native India.

Several student employees have found summer jobs that coincide with their field of study, especially mechanical, industrial and electrical engineering and statistics.

Budumuru said the best thing about her job is getting to put her undergraduate degree to good use.

I like working with others, and I also really like working with the electrical stuff,she said.

Truly not your average summer job, the student employees are taking the opportunity to get the most they can out of the experience.

I like this job because I get to be creative and use my mind,said Swetha Gopisetti, a graduate student in industrial engineering from India. Gopisetti analyzes surveys for customer service.

While the student workers have proved to be an asset to the community as well as the University, they are also enjoying the freedom their jobs give them.

Ive had two other internships that were both mainly office jobs, but I like this one a lot because they always have me out running around, and it keeps it interesting,said Matt Shafran, a graduate student in mechanical engineering from Latrobe, Pa.

Shafran is working on a vibration analysis project for preventative maintenance around the University, and he appreciates the supportive atmosphere of his work environment.

I really like the people I work with,he said.If you have a problem or question, the people who work here are willing to drop what they are doing to help you.

The program runs through Aug. 15.