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Making Something Out Of Nothing: Tips for a Summer Career as Summer Quickly Approaches

Haven’t worked out your summer jobs and internships just yet? Here are some tips for that last-minute way to work it out.

Rising Sophomores: Don’t stress too hard. This summer is more about keeping busy and less about keeping up with the inevitable competition back in the Emory Bubble. Apply to work at a store or restaurant nearby to earn some cash for when you want to semi-support yourself back at school. Tell your parents to ask their friends and see if you can do some filing around the office—you know, something that you can spice up into “Executive Marketing Intern” on your resume. One of their friends is bound to have some shredding for you to do. If not, babysitting is still an in-demand job and tax-free, and will definitely be more lucrative than any glorified but unpaid internship.

Rising Juniors: I hope you aren’t sweating yet because you shouldn’t be. I know you have those few friends who landed a job in the big leagues, but there are just as many people who are still rummaging through their emails to find ANYTHING. Email and call places near your home or here in Atlanta (banks, doctor’s offices, newspapers, etc.) and say you want to get an education and you’d love to shadow a few days a week to see what the field is all about. They’ll be impressed that you aren’t begging for a paid internship and are smart enough to realize the importance of “getting educated in a field” because you are genuinely passionate about the industry you want to pursue. Alternatively, online blogs are always looking for contributing writers. Even if you aren’t pursuing a career in communications, writing skills are a must for anyone and everyone. The experience in a real work setting, the legitimate practice, and of course, that little something to add to your resume is invaluable.

Rising Seniors: Now it’s time to buckle down. Some fields aren’t the type to hire on a non-need basis so if you don’t have an internship now it may not be your fault. Nevertheless, it is time to get some field experience before your last year of college so you can finish with a bang–and a job. Rules for sophomores and juniors still apply. Don’t think that you are above these options and don’t feel bad that you haven’t landed opportunities you thought you had in the bag. Take a deep breath, maybe start to consider different or smaller cities or consider staying home. Step a bit out of your comfort zone and consider an internship in something that’s slightly astray from your initially planned path. Want to be a doctor and intern at a medical center? Try pharmaceutical-type jobs instead. Or maybe email an author who wrote a medical book that you enjoyed (or your mom enjoyed and told you about) and ask what her next project is and say you’d like to help out. Thinking out of the box can help you land something unconventional that still gives you great experience and of course boosts that resume!

Almost Graduates:  At this point, you may still be waiting to hear back from companies or grad schools, or you may be in a job rut and have convinced yourself you’ve exhausted all of your options. That is simply not the case; let me introduce you to start-ups. Start-ups are your new best friend. Check out anything online. They all are looking for people willing to look and to start with minimum pay (but minimum pay is better than no pay). Dedicate yourself to them for a year (suck it up) and the payoff will come soon enough. I’m not going to tell you to network your socks off because that is a given and one of the most annoyingly obvious things for a person to tell you, so I won’t digress. Consider working with your school’s alumni network for a year. Not only does it look great to get involved with a university’s alumni network, but you will have first-hand access to successful graduates and alumni events to get your pick of new friends that just so happen to run your dream hedge fund.

Let these tips be a stepping-stone towards your future. You’re still young. Don’t flip if you are still unemployed and possibly stuck living with your parents. You got this!

I am a Journalism and Film Co-Major hoping to write my way through life.
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