Summer Experiences Beyond the Internship

Are you beginning to think about how you’d like to spend your summer? Summer is a wonderful time to learn more about yourself, gain experience, develop new skills, and explore potential career paths. While internships are an excellent way to gain experience and connections, it’s not the only option for a productive summer. 

Below, we have curated a list of ways to spend you summer wisely (beyond the summer internship). Be sure to check out the UR tables at the Spider Career Expo and Summer Experience Fest to learn more about summer research, on-campus summer jobs, summer classes, internships abroad, and more!

Summer Experiences Beyond the Internship

Research: Academic research is a fantastic way to form relationships with faculty members, build your resume, gain in-depth experience in your academic field, and prepare for graduate school. Your professors and academic advisors are the best resources for discovering research opportunities. Funding for on-campus summer research is available through UR Summer Fellowships. The research application deadline Tuesday, February 11, 2020, at noon.  

Externships/Shadowing: Externships or job shadowing is a low-risk way to explore an industry or organization you’re interested in. Because a shadowing experience only lasts for a short period of time, you can leverage these experiences to learn about whether you’d like to work in a particular industry or company culture, before committing to an internship or job opportunity.

Service Work/Volunteering: Participating in volunteer service work allows you to serve a community, explore a potential issue area of interest, gain work experience, and build useful connections. Because many non-profit and service-based organizations rely on volunteer support, the application or sign-up process may be quick and easy. Chat with UR’s Center for Civic Engagement to learn about how to connect with local service opportunities.

Summer Job: A short-term job, whether full- or part-time, offers money, experience, and flexibility. Try to seek out a job that aligns with your interests and goals. For example, if you’re interested in working with children, try working as a camp counselor for a local summer camp. Interested in business? Gain transferable skills by working in customer service or sales at a local retail store. Be sure to also check out the numerous on-campus summer employment opportunities.

Summer Classes: UR offers a variety of summer classes that can help you make progress toward your degree and/or learn about topics you wouldn’t normally have the chance to study. In addition, taking a summer class in Richmond allows you to explore the true essence of the city.

Personal Projects and Self-Education: Want to build an app, launch your own company, or record an album? Or maybe you’d like to just learn to code, build your writing skills, or practice a foreign language. Leverage the freedom of summer break to develop your own personal project or educate yourself using resources that are often free and easily accessible. You can access tons of online courses through  LinkedIn Learning for free!

Travel: There are many ways to see the world including: traveling with your family, volunteering on a service trip, backpacking with friends, or participating in a structured learning program for students. Whichever form of travel fits your style (and budget), traveling can provide you with global experiences, cultural immersion, a chance to practice your language skills, and an opportunity for enormous personal growth.

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