By Meghan Shaffer ‘20
It’s internship season here on the hill, and chances are if you are a sophomore or junior, you’ve overheard your friends talking excitedly about the internship they scored for the summer or the summer job they have lined up. But if you’re anything like me (a procrastinator), you’ve put off doing that same work and finding something to do this summer, and hearing your friends talk about their plans may send you into a bit of a panic over your lack of motivation. But fear not. There are still three weeks left in the semester to get your life together and come up with a solid plan this summer. Even if you don’t head into finals with a concrete plan, hopefully some of these suggestions will set you in the right direction to make moves on a summer job.
Many people, especially here at Holy Cross, start looking for a summer job way before summer is even close. While this is a great thing to do so that you don’t have to keep worrying about it, a lot of employers are still going to be looking to fill positions for the summer right until the summer work season begins, which is usually in early June. Do some more research on internships you are interested in and see when the application period ends, because chances are you’ll find one or two still open. Look into local businesses that open or hire more for the summer, and try calling places you may have worked in the past if you’re interested in something more lowkey.
Look In A Different Field
If you’ve been doing it long enough, the internship search can start to feel like a narrow tunnel with no light at the end. These days, pretty much every field is incredibly competitive, and it’s not uncommon to apply to 10 or 15 internships in your field of interest. It’s frustrating when all those applications leave you with nothing, and it leaves you unmotivated to keep applying. If this has happened to you, try looking into internships in a different field. It should be something that you are still interested in, and definitely something you are qualified for, but outside the specific field that you were previously focusing your energy on. Not only will this give you a chance to try your luck again on an internship, but it will also help you learn some more about the kinds of positions offered for students that you weren’t previously aware of. Even if nothing comes of it, doing the research may peak your interest and help you direct your job/internship in the future.
Go To The Career Center
The Center for Career Development at Holy Cross is a great resource for students that many do not take advantage of. If you have no idea what you want to do this summer, stop by for a quick appointment. The staff there will be able to help you brainstorm the kind of job or internship you might be interested in and show you some listings and possibilities. They also will help you draft cover letters and fix up your resume to make sure that you have the best chance at finding something to do this summer. Getting your resume approved by the Career Center also allows you to apply for jobs via Crusader Connections, which constantly updates with new job and internship openings.
Take Some Summer Classes
Summer doesn’t just have to be for work; it’s the perfect opportunity to take some classes and get ahead on your degree. If you live locally, Holy Cross is still accepting down payments for summer classes offered here, but you could also talk to your advisor or class dean about the possibility of transferring credits from an institution closer to home. You could take some basic entry level classes to get some common requirements out of the way, or you could take some more individualized courses that you find interesting and unique. A lot of professors offer specialized summer courses that they won’t offer during the year, so look at what Holy Cross or some local colleges are offering and see what piques your interest.
Volunteering is a fantastic way to give back to your community while home for the summer, and it can take pretty much any form. Look into non-profits in your area and get in contact with them to see what opportunities they have for students during the summer. You could go more traditional, like volunteering at a food-pantry or your local library, or approach local businesses to see if they have space for some unpaid intern work. Working without getting paid can be a drag, but if you are able to take the summer off, it’s a great way to occupy your time if you want something less structured and that will take up less of your time.
Try Babysitting or Nannying
Parents are always scrambling for babysitters or nannies as summer approaches, which is something you can take advantage of. Like volunteering, being a babysitter will give you a more flexible schedule. Families need different kinds of help during the summer, and you could look for something as simple as dropping some kids off at camp for the day and then picking them up in the afternoon. Ask families around your neighborhood or town with children if they know of anyone who still needs summer childcare. Care.com is a also a good resource to find families in need, and it lets you customize your search so that you’re only seeing results that apply to you.
Do Something Fun
We all work hard here on the hill, and summer is a chance to rest and recharge for the upcoming school year, so have some fun! This doesn’t mean that you’re just sitting around watching Netflix all summer. Pick up a couple shifts at your local ice cream shop or boutique with some friends. Look into local summer camps and see if they are still accepting applications. Find a local beach and see if they need workers for the snack shack or restaurant. Find a place you enjoy, and see what you can do that will allow you to spend as much time as possible there during the summer.