Phone: (203) 932-7076
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Location: 1st Floor Bixler Hall
With summer quickly approaching and a downturn in the economy, current students are worried it will be more difficult than ever to find a summer job. Most students who are looking for summer jobs are looking to get a few things out of it: some resume-building experience, some money, and perhaps some fun. Here are some tips for making sure that your student gets the most out of his or her summer vacation.
Be sure to check out job openings at day and overnight camps, amusement parks, pools, and other seasonal facilities. While a job at a place like this might not seem to be applicable to your son or daughter’s major, a job like this can teach students transferrable skills and give them important experience. For example, employees at amusement parks or camps are always honing their communication, customer service, and time management skills. These abilities are important to develop for almost any job in any market.
Internships are an opportunity for a student to gain professional experience in their field. Some internships may involve doing gruntwork, but they also involve opportunities for training, development, and learning about day-to-day management in an industry. If a student makes the most of his or her internship, there are opportunities to meet mentors, decide if they really like the field, and network. Remember that, especially in today’s economy, not all internships are paid – but good internships can provide students with opportunities that will greatly benefit them in the future – and can sometimes turn into full-time job opportunities. Students should remember that this is a chance to start becoming a professional, and to gain experience in multiple areas.
Many graduate school programs appreciate any volunteer work that students put time into during their undergraduate years. The summer is a great time to help out with volunteer work – from summer tutoring to help students who are behind catch up, to serving food at a local soup kitchen, to organizing a benefit road race or other fundraiser. Summertime at homes means that your student’s friends are home, and if a group of them can get together to help out the community, everyone benefits.
Networking & Shadowing
Experts say that networking gives students an advantage when they hit the job market. Introduce your son or daughter to your friends and colleagues who work in careers they might be interested it. Your son or daughter may be able to “shadow” an established professional at work, allowing them to see how things work and gain some inside knowledge, without the time commitment of an internship. Shadowing works especially well for freshmen and sophomores who are still deciding on a major and might need more information about certain fields. To increase networking opportunities, students can attend local events, or contact members of their communities who they might be interested in meeting to ask more about their careers and the paths they took to get where they are today.