Summer as an Opportunity

Ways to Take Advantage of Summer

In today�s job market, students should not depend solely on their grades to secure a job after graduation. While having a strong academic record is important, employers want to see well-rounded individuals. Summer serves as a golden opportunity for students to expand their credentials through summer school, internship experience or volunteer work.

Attend Summer School

One of the best ways for your student to spend his or her summer is by taking classes. By knocking out a few hours in the summer, students can have lighter semesters, allowing them to focus on individual classes. Summer school also is a way to boost GPA. If students didn't do as well in a class as they would have liked, they may be interested in retaking the class to raise their grade. Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management Diana Ramey said, "Along with the academic benefits, summer school actually can save you money. These classes help students stay on track, thus ensuring that they can graduate on time, and students sometimes may use their scholarship money for these classes." More information about summer school at Baylor is available online.

Get an Internship

Many employers agree that internship experience is one of the most valuable items on a student's resume. Internships provide students practical experience in their field of study and allow them to build strong connections. In the future, students have the option to call upon these connections as references. Senior Lecturer Dr. Cassy Burleson teaches advanced public relations and encourages students to "Dream your biggest dream, and then go get an internship there this summer. Many times, an internship is easier to get than a job, and your internship could be your ticket in." If your student cannot find an internship in his or her field, a summer job is another viable alternative. Employers want to see that students have some work experience, even if it's not in their primary area of study. Both a job and an internship show that the student has initiative and drive.

Volunteer

Summer also serves a time for students to give back by volunteering or mission trips. Companies are increasingly interested in addressing important social issues such as world hunger or environmental safety. Volunteering demonstrates an interest in others and concern for one's community. Like an internship, volunteering in an area related to a student's field of study also can provide the student with valuable insight and practical experience. "Volunteering allows students to learn more about their career areas, and it also serves as a great resumé-builder," said associate professor Dr. Joseph Brown, who teaches citizenship and community service. "Most importantly though, volunteering teaches students how to give and how to help others."

Summer is a time of opportunity. By taking advantage of this break, students can make themselves more marketable candidates when they begin the job search, which will ultimately help them take the right steps toward success.