How to Have a Productive Summer Without an Internship

One thing many people are starting to or preparing to join the workforce are noticing is something I like to call qualification inflation. Meaning that even entry-level jobs may require experience, defeating the purpose of an entry-level job.

Because of this, students in college are forced into the mindset that internships are the only way to productively spend your summers. This also includes the high stress of competing for internships and the hopeless feeling of never hearing back from your dream internship. However, fear not. There are many productive ways to spend your summers without having an internship.

Study abroad

At your university, there are many summer study abroad opportunities. Odds are, there will even be a program within your college of study. Study abroad programs give your resume diversity, as well as giving you life-changing experiences that probably not every other candidate will have. Especially if the program is within your college, you will most likely learn and do many things that apply to your field of study or intended career. There may also be programs that are just a couple of weeks, and some that are the whole summer, so I encourage you to check out the possibilities.

There is career-related work that isn’t an internship!

One of the things that may make you feel like you need an internship, other than pressure from your peers and family, is that your resume is void of anything relating to the job you hope to have after you graduate. Maybe you have a lot of things on there, but feel like they aren’t as related. First, almost anything can be applied to your career. Yes, your job at Olive Garden can be related to a job in advertising. It’s all in the wording on your resume. Secondly, don’t only apply for positions that have “internship” in the title. Doing this will create a lot more opportunities for yourself, and will also differentiate you from other candidates down the line if your resume has more than just internships.

Contact a staffing agency  

If you’re still really stuck and have nothing to do this summer, contact a staffing agency. There are many companies that are in need of temps. This can give you the opportunity to be in a professional environment and also, a lot of temp jobs are paid if you’re concerned with making some extra money!

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