Taking Advantage of your Summer
Internships and other ways to make a use of your summer vacation
By Claudine Vainrub
Gone are the days when summer vacation time was solely used for going to the beach, being lazy and relaxing around the house. With the competition evident in the college admissions race, it pays off to think about doing something more useful with your time of leisure.
Preparing for the college admissions race requires a lot of time and effort. However, it does not mean that high school students should deprive themselves from taking time off to relax from their daily routines. Recharging batteries for the next year of their high school education is as important as working towards their mid-term goals. However, there are many advantages to doing something useful also during the summer, and taking advantage of this time to learn new things in different environments can prove rewarding in many ways.
Taking on a summer job occupation can support your college goals by:
1- Proving that you are a hard worker, willing to go the extra mile to show others that you are committed to your goals
2- Providing the opportunity to experience a field of work you have interest in. This can also help you really know with more certainty if the industry which you are trying out and also the profession you are reviewing meet your expectations in terms of interests, career wants and needs. Most of the times, third party opinions are not as valid as making your own opinion regarding an occupation by having “been there, done that”
3- Gain a leadership opportunity by undertaking a special assignment in your work environment, and completing it before the summer’s end. This will not only have the potential of becoming a great life lesson in completing tasks, time management and results delivery, but also, you will be making a difference for the affected group of people, and maybe even leaving a legacy
4- Keeping your mind going throughout the summer, as opposed to getting lazy and becoming passive in your life. Living at a slower pace is sometimes needed, however, when doing so for long periods of time, it can be counterproductive, and you can easily form bad habits that stick. Maintaining a balanced level of activity during the summer is useful and beneficial your any high school student
5- Providing opportunities for creative thinking as you go outside your bubble to learn about something completely different from what you devote yourself on a daily basis
6- Experiencing new things that can lead to analysis on your career, goals and future
From the college admissions process perspective, taking on an internship, thinking creatively about what to do during the summer, and taking new action can become very rewarding for you as an applicant. The admissions committees of colleges and universities throughout the U.S. look for individuals that can contribute to the classes by bringing their own insight, initiative and creativity.
Every day more, classes become participative, leaving the lecture format almost entirely in a class of the old and discontinued ways to teach. With the more modern teaching methodologies such as case study, team projects and even cold-calling to enhance class participation, student input becomes invaluable to enrich instruction and the classroom experience as a whole. This is why colleges seek leaders, students with diverse experiences that will bring their own perspectives and thought processes to the discussions to take them to the next level.
To become a contributor of this class experience, we must seek new experiences that encourage creative and analytical thinking. The summer is the perfect time to seek these adventures, which will make a difference to us as individuals, and to the ones surrounding us, as we inspire them to think differently and profoundly about new topics in mind. Work and obligation can be fun too, especially when choosing a career you love. If you missed, the experience was also good as you might have saved yourself from studying for four years about an area you would not directly use in your professional future.
Here are some ideas of interesting summer internships:
1- If you are a tennis/baseball/other sports player: Opening a tennis/baseball/sports league for underprivileged kids
2- If you are an actor/singer/musician: Producing an amateur musical play or drama
3- If you are good in sciences and interested in pre-med: Shadowing a doctor for a month
4- Any student at all: Developing a small non-profit organization to support a specific cause (does not need to become large or raise large amounts of money)
5- If you are interested in international relations, languages and other related fields: Forming an organization to cater under-served populations tutoring them in Spanish
6- If you are interested in finance: Joining a bank, developing and executing a program to open small loans for lower income individuals and their small businesses.
With a little creativity and passion for a specific occupation, your summer can end up being so much more than expected, opening your eyes to new horizons and changing your life forever. Get ready to jump out of the couch and work to make your dreams a reality.