Keep the Cash Flowing–Five Reasons a Summer Job is Better than an Internship

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You’ve been accepted to work as an intern at your friend’s dad’s company, but you also got the job as a hostess at a country club. Family members tell you that your internship is a better bet. Friends give you mixed opinions and say it’s up to you. The choice can be confusing because you really don’t know the benefits of working a summer job. Well leave the confused Dory mind behind and get to know a few reasons why your summer job is a better bet than an internship.

1. Cash Flow

As college kids, we need a source of income to support our shopping splurges and drunk pizza runs. A summer job can be just that. Nobody likes begging mom and dad for extra cash. The moment we approach our parents, they sit us down and lecture us on our spending habits. Then we try to explain how the extra guac does benefit our health. So, we might as well trade in our days by the pool for days behind the cash register. Plus, many internships offered to college students are unpaid. None of us want to feel like free labor anyways. Sure, we get class credit, but we’d much rather prefer that biweekly check. Better to say that we spent our summer gaining work experience and getting the Benjamins.

2. Resume Builder

Employers want to see that you did more in college than go to class, party it up and go to football games. While an internship gives you credibility, how much experience do you truly get just following behind the big dogs like little pups? Employers are reassured when future employees know what it means to have responsibilities and be accountable while on the job. “Employers are interested in people who have work experience and have a good skillset—general things like working in a team, accountability [and] strong communication,” UGA career sounselor Samantha Meyer said. “All of those skills can be gained from a summer job, not just an internship.” It’s cool to live up the college life, but keep your eyes on the real purpose of school. Make the four years of tuition and hidden fees worth it by taking steps to land that dream job.

3. Improves Interpersonal Skills

You never really know how great you are with people until you work at a restaurant or in retail. Angry customers who feel the world revolves around them can test the most patient of us. But that’s life. Learning to deal with sticky situations in these summer jobs prepare you for the snappy boss you’re bound to have as an intern or once you land your dream job. “Communicating effectively is the kind of transferable skill that almost all employers want, and it can be gained through having experience in most work settings, from communicating with colleagues, communicating to your boss or communicating with customers,” Meyer said. Better to learn how to let stuff roll off your back and keep on pushing rather than struggle to accommodate all the stress as a young intern.

4. Job Security

Internships are usually a one-time thing. They take you in for the summer, get you acclimated to their company style, refuse to pay you and then send you off wishing you good luck on future endeavors. With a summer job, you can rely on the fact that they’ll have a place for you when you come home for break. Come home for holiday breaks and don’t fret about what company will pick you as an intern and consider you for a job later. “I think forming a good relationship with your managers secures your position with them,” Georgia State University junior Tyler Harp said. “For my job, I can leave for school, and when I come home, I can go back to the same place instead of scrambling for a new job.”

5. Get Time to Figure Yourself Out

Many of us entered college thinking we knew exactly what we wanted to do with our lives. We had everything mapped out perfectly down to the exact location of where we’d land our dream job. But those weed-out classes are no joke. Soon we realized our dream career might not be all we thought it’d be. Instead of jumping into the internship when you’re not sure if that path is meant for you, fill out an application to that froyo place up the street or to your favorite store in the mall (hello friends and family discounts!). Spend summer mulling over which path you want to take in life while tasting every flavor of yogurt in the store or saving money for new outfits for the next semester.

I am a sophomore, Journalism major at the University of Georgia. I enjoy spending time with family, reading, shopping, hanging with friends, and creating amazing memories.

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