Written by Undergraduate Career Consultant, Jeremy Cantrill
As the semester gets under way, I am sure many of you are thinking about summer opportunities. Internships are something that we as an office work hard to ensure that students are prepared for, and are most definitely a great idea for any business student. Statistically most students have their internship between their junior and senior years. So what should you look for if you decide to work a more traditional summer job during one of the summers prior to your internship? There are several ideas to consider when searching for a job opportunity, as discussed below.
First, a summer job can be a great time to expand your knowledge and experience. Consider working in a different kind of job than you have previously. For example, if you worked in predominantly food service jobs in high school, consider working in retail, manual labor, or an office setting. Different kinds of jobs can lend themselves to contact with diverse groups of people, to learning new skills, and to generally keeping it interesting for you throughout the summer.
Second, be proactive! This is true of the internship search as well. You will want to have a good idea of the kind of job, location, and pay scale you desire. Starting early and using school holidays spent at home for networking opportunities can be great ways to ensuring you get the job you desire. Just as with internship searches, reaching out to the employers and establishing a relationship can be a great benefit both for the summer job you desire, and for your general network overall.
Third, apply to a variety of companies and positions. This can help ensure that you do have a meaningful summer regardless of whether you get a position at your first-choice company or not. Along with this, you’ll want to be organized. Keep an excel spreadsheet, for example, with the contacts and information you need to keep yourself up to date with your application process.
Finally, a summer job can be a great thing to prepare you for a future internship. Many students come to the office fearing that they need to have a specific kind of summer job in order to guarantee an internship. While some companies do have summer events and seminars that can be a great thing to take part in, a summer job does not necessarily have to directly relate to your future career. Instead, ask yourself “How does my summer job relate to the business world?” There are many soft-skills and characteristics that you can develop when working a summer job. Keep these in mind and be ready to talk about them in an interview with a recruiter. All past experiences can be very valuable to becoming a well-rounded candidate, including those