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Top 5 Summer Plans for College Students

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With finals approaching, this means one thing… summer is around the corner! As a college student you have to get out there and do something with yourself. So, my recommendation is to consider these top 5 summer plans for college students

1. Intern

Unfortunately you’re not in high school anymore so interning is a must.  It is very important to secure a great internship for the summer because this allows you to make connections, get experience and most importantly help your future. You never know where a summer internship may lead… it could possibly give you a career with the company one day. Trust me, you won’t regret it.

Intern image source

2. Study Abroad

College is the best time to travel! Summer is even better because you’re not missing out on anything from the school year so it’s the best of both worlds. Take a look at this eCampus blog: Top 5 Reasons to Study Abroad, you can see a few of the many benefits of studying abroad. My recommendation would be to take a fun class you wouldn’t normally take at your university, maybe even one that is specific to the country you are in. This will definitely enhance the experience of your trip.

Travel image source

3. Get a Job

Of course the fall back to not interning or studying abroad is getting a summer job. Although, this might not be the most fun or interesting thing to do in the summer but at least you’ll be making some extra money for the school year right?

Summer Job images source

4. Take Summer Classes

This might be the most boring option to take for the summer but it’s also something to seriously consider doing. If you did poorly in a class this semester or even dropped it, taking an online or in-class summer session class could help you get closer to earning your degree. Also if you just changed your major and are behind in credits this is a great time to catch up instead of taking 21 hours next semester.

Summer Classesimage source

5. Soak Up the Sun

The last option for your summer plan could be to take it easy and relax. Maybe go to the park with your dog, hang out with friends or just lay out by the pool to get that golden tan you’ve missed all year. There’s nothing wrong with this option because sometimes after a long year of classes, taking a break is the best thing to do.

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What are your summer plans? Let us know in the comments below!

Unpaid Internships

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Unpaid internships are a great way to get experience in your field of study. They are also a good way to get a step ahead of other graduates.  Over the years, I have participated in several unpaid internships. Some were glorified grunt work positions. Others were great opportunities–I got to take pictures at the Kentucky Derby which were later published in an international magazine. I think unpaid internships are wonderful! However, not everybody has the means to work for free. I’ve had several friends pass up unpaid internships to wait tables. Can you really blame them? It’s darn near impossible to completely live off financial aid/student loans. Unfortunately, my friends will be at a disadvantage when it comes time to find a “big boy” job.

Unpaid Internship

Should I feel bad that I am able to take an unpaid internship?

I’ve been heckled for taking unpaid internships in the past,  “You are so spoiled because your parents pay for everything. You don’t even have to get paid for your work.” These ludicrous statements make me want to scream. I would never walk up to a person who is paying their own way through college and say, “Your parents are lazy bums because they don’t have enough money to help you through college.” It is just cruel, and in my opinion both of these statements hit below the belt. Yet people continue to belittle me for coming from a wealthy family; I don’t think it is something that should be held against me.  The reality is that I have worked consistently since I was 15 years old. My first job was at Subway and I spent an entire summer making sandwiches for thousands of people. I’ve had a healthy stream of part-time jobs since then and I don’t plan to stop working anytime in the future.

I have had  several unpaid internships while I have been in college.  I have worked for a photographer, a magazine and now a textbook company. Each internship has taught me something new and useful that I can take with me for the rest of my life. Why should I feel even a little guilty for taking the opportunity to get this experience? What good is a crappy minimum wage job that has absolutely no benefit for my future career? I can understand how some people may see the world of unpaid internships as an unfair advantage for students who are more fortunate. But I also think it is totally unfair that people are judged for taking advantage of the opportunities presented to them. If you’re able to, why wouldn’t you get the experience needed for your dream job?

Although I have been the subject of friends’ ridicule, I have never felt guilty for taking advantage of unpaid internships. While some of my classmates are graduating with no experience in their chosen field whatsoever;  I am able to graduate with REAL job experience. Whether my internships have paid off or not–it remains to be seen. I graduate in the fall and hope that my internships will give me the resume experience I need to get my dream job.

 

Lovejoy

I’m reading Elementary Statistics

Are You Still Looking for a Summer Job?

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Don’t Panic!  If your bank account is still in the green, you don’t necessarily have to move back in with your parent yet.  And if you do have to cross that bridge, we have another blog post coming soon about how to deal with that mess.  Parents are great… to visit.

Finding a job is a numbers game.  It’s more like fishing with a net than a pole.  Even in a mid-sized town there are thousands of businesses with multiple departments.  Law offices, banks, manufacturers, corporate offices of restaurants, financial advisers, consultants, research positions and doctor’s offices, to name a few.  At this point you can’t afford to be picky, so branch out (your mom’s probably not going to do your laundry anymore now that you’re all grown up, you may as well apply for that less-than-stellar job).

I want to pass along some advice I got from a hugely successful class-action lawyer to give you an idea of how aggressive you can be in your search, without taking massive amounts of time.  You want the highest Return on Investment with your efforts.  Here’s the advice I received:

Dear Robin,

If I were you, I’d mine family contacts first to see if they have connections; then, conduct a mass-mailing campaign to every law firm stating that you’re “very interested in (area of law they primarily practice)” with your resume attached, and follow-up by phone to see if you can talk to them when you’re back in town. Also, are there any Alumni connections down there?

Good luck!

Andrew

You may want to think about using this strategy: forget sniping at this point with super-tailored resumes and go for a scatter-shot approach that covers as much ground as possible.  This approach is for every industry, not just law offices.

 

WonderBread

I’m reading Living With Art