Springtime always seems to be so much busier than any other time, with day drinks and tanning taking up much of your time. There is also the looming summer up ahead, with constant chatter about what fabulously grand and awesome plans people have.
A lot of important college planning happens during these formative months, and this guideline can help you navigate what you may want to consider doing at any point during your college career.
Freshman year: A little too early for a serious job, the summer after your freshman year probably provides the greatest range of variability in what most students do. From service projects to actual internships, your plans can help cement what you want to continue studying or can serve as a resume booster if you plan on traveling and devoting your summer to service.
On the other hand, setting yourself up with an internship helps to build contacts early and it may even help with getting a higher-up internship with more responsibility next summer if you keep in contact with the organization. Spend some time researching these two options, and use your school’s resource center or social concerns center to guide you.
Sophomore year: This is the heavy-hitting internship year. Generally, regardless of what major you are people only have one thing on their mind: securing a position where making copies and fetching coffee is the most responsibility you’ll get. Doing as much research as possible and exhausting all contacts is crucial at this stage, as well as starting as early as possible. Applying for summer internships during the fall semester shows initiative and interest, not overeager-ness.
Junior year:After (or during) your potential study abroad period, you will have gained a lot more experience and have another year of academics, work and extracurriculars under your belt. Lower-level positions with higher job potential are of great interest here, either by looking back at other jobs you have had or reaching out to new prospects.
Expand your horizons to looking for internships away from your hometown, which shows your willingness to relocate and your dedication to the company. It also doesn’t hurt to ask other people in your major where they have been applying, to get a sense of the type of companies they have been looking into. A little competition never hurt anyone!
Senior year: If you started the job search early and were proactive with your communication and interviewing, hopefully you have secured a job at this point. If so, congrats! If not, no need to fret: take this time to finish up your class load and spend time researching.
It also shows no sign of weakness on your part to turn to your college’s career center: making connections is their business, and they want to help in any way possible. If you stick with it and don’t let the pressure get the best of you, a job will appear to you in no time. Happy prepping!
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