Making the Most of Your Summer

June 9, 2017 Student Life

College students are taking a break from the traditional concept of summer vacation to obtain a brighter future. Instead of lying on a beach or traveling, the new trend is for students to forfeit their time off for resume boosting summer internships and activities.

Summer internships

A summer internship is a valuable way to gain hands-on experience in your field of study. And internships aren’t just for juniors and seniors anymore. Getting involved at the freshmen and sophomore levels keeps students engaged. It not only looks great on their resume, but offers students an opportunity to explore their field of study outside of the classroom. Remember, it’s important to apply early since there may be limited positions available.

“Don’t be discouraged if the internship isn’t paid,” said Jessica Caron, director of career services at Vaughn College. “The hands-on experience can be just as valuable as a paid internship—if not more.” No one is saying not to enjoy some fun in the sun this summer, but keeping the momentum going during this time off can give you the edge you’ll need to land a job after graduation. “Employers expect students to have experience when they graduate,” said Caron. “They will hire a candidate with a strong resume with no time gaps over someone who looks like they didn’t make the best use of their time.”

Volunteer jobs

Caron explained how Vaughn students are landing summer volunteer positions at John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Arrivals―Terminal 4. “The program at JFK is perfect for students who were unable to find an internship or may be working other jobs but are still looking for the hands-on experience,” Caron said. “The program offers a flexible schedule and is open to all students of all majors.”

Any volunteer work, even if it’s not related to your field, can boost your resume. “We encourage our students to visit our office and use the resources we have available to find job opportunities,” Caron said. “It’s important for students to keep busy over the summer.”

Join the club

Joining clubs and various student chapters of professional organizations on campus early in the school year can open doors for summer internships. Caron said getting involved with professional organizations can lead to full-time jobs after graduation. “Being well-rounded keeps students engaged and increases their academic success,” Caron explained. “It’s a win-win for both sides. A strong resume represents the student’s hard work and dedication, and that information is equally valuable to the employer when looking to hire the right candidate for the position.”

Give me a break

It’s important to carve out some “me” time over the summer and enjoy special times with family and friends. Remember, whether you’re working as an intern or in a volunteer position, think of the time you’re spending as a stepping stone to your future. And most of these jobs won’t last the entire summer, so you’ll still have time for summer fun.

A message from the director

“It’s important for our students to get involved with career services at Vaughn,” Caron stated. “Even if they aren’t looking for a job at that time, we want them to know we are here to help them prepare for their future. Whether it’s learning how to write a powerful resume to enhancing their interviewing skills, our job is to help our students find the best career options for their future.”