Now that spring break has come and gone, it’s time to start the countdown to summer! If you have not yet thought about what you plan to do with your summer vacation, there is still time to put together an action plan and ensure you spend your summer gaining intentional experience. Summer is the perfect time to work on building and diversifying your skill set and gaining exposure to a variety of experiences to aid in your career decision-making process.
There is a menu of opportunities to consider for the summer including internships, research or volunteer opportunities, hourly jobs, and more. The factors of where you plan to spend the summer, and your own personal needs, can dictate the types of opportunities you may seek. For example if you are hoping to explore a career field, but also need to save money, you could consider seeking out a part-time internship or even volunteering, and then supplement with a part-time job. The most common experience on a college student’s resume is within retail, food service, or childcare, as these positions can be easy to obtain, but do not discredit the skills that are developed through these opportunities.
To start this process, we would first encourage you to think about the types of places or work that you’d like to do, this will help to guide your search. Our SpiderConnect database can connect you to a variety of opportunities around the country and worldwide. In addition to what we share under “SpiderConnect Opportunities,” be sure to also check out the UCAN Internship Database and Going Global, which can both be found on the left hand side of the homepage. You’ll first want to get your resume created or updated and we would encourage you to come in and meet with an advisor to talk about your specific interests. Based on what you’re looking for, we may have some industry specific resources to point you towards.
You can gain an incredible amount of experience through volunteering at a nonprofit. This doesn’t always mean hands on service, but there are even opportunities to help with accounting or program planning. There is something for any interest of yours or skill that you’re seeking to build, volunteering is not just for those with an interest in the nonprofit sector. Idealist is a great resource to search for local nonprofits and volunteer opportunities.
Did you have a summer or part-time job during high school? See if it’s an option to go back and work during the summer. If you’re looking for something different, start looking at what might be a good fit. You could consider certain jobs based on skills, for example if you’re interested in education or teaching, working at a daycare or a summer camp would be a great option to get hands-on experience. Or maybe you would love to work in the fashion industry, retail jobs may be different, but most fashion opportunities are going to want you to have had hands-on retail experience. At the end of the day, any part-time job will help you to develop basic transferable skills in areas like communication, customer services, time management, etc.
We would definitely encourage you to connect with professors in your disciplines of interest to learn more about research opportunities. While the Arts & Sciences Research Fellowship deadline has passed, there may still be some UR faculty with opportunities for summer student researchers. You can also look into opportunities at other universities, which can be found on the institution’s employment page.
No matter what you plan to do, or if you need some assistance in narrowing down your options on how to spend the summer, career advisors are here to help. Come by our drop-in hours every afternoon from 2 – 4 p.m. in THC 306 to chat with an advisor, no appointment needed. You can schedule a 30 minute appointment through calling (804) 289-8547 or stopping by the office.