Summer is still a few months away, but it will arrive before you know it. Have you thought about how you plan to spend the break?
As it turns out, you might want to devote more attention to this issue. How you spend your summer break won’t just give you some great stories to tell on the first day of school. More and more universities are looking at summer break experiences, during high school, as evidence of your character and work ethic.
Admission to college has become more competitive in recent years, leading many students to focus on grades and entrance exam scores. But for many admissions officers, academic promise is only one piece of the puzzle, when evaluating freshman candidates. Ideally, schools prefer to choose students who are well-rounded and diverse, and have something interesting or unique to offer to their new campus environment.
Also, the best summer jobs and internships tend to fill up fast, so you certainly would not be rushing things if you prefer to get started on your search now. Look for opportunities that offer the following:
Experience. Ideally, your summer job will offer experience related to your anticipated field of study. But don’t box yourself into one field. Remember that many job skills translate across multiple fields.
Enrichment. Your summer job or internship might be the perfect time to dive into a new field of possibilities, such as shadowing a chef, working at a zoo, or working in an art museum.
Leadership opportunities. In particular, look for a position that offers you leadership opportunities. Sleep-away and even day camps often hire high school students as counselors, giving you the chance to teach younger children while learning how to manage groups.
Independent living. Some summer job opportunities might even offer you the chance to live away from home, which will be a valuable experience as you prepare for dorm or apartment life.
Your summer job doesn’t necessarily need to check all of these boxes. The point is to think beyond the usual part-time jobs, and plan to learn or experience something that sets you apart from the pack.