Winter is the time of year when doing the bare minimum and sleeping in seems like the best way to spend the day…but don’t let that mentality get in the way of your hustle! Companies start their hunt for applicants for their programs, internships, and jobs early, so now is the opportune time to start making summer plans.

Even though the timing may seem a bit early, working on applications and submitting them as soon as possible will help you meet the employer’s deadline and gives you a higher chance of getting hired.

The great debate of whether a summer internship, job, or a volunteer opportunity is the best plan for you is based solely on what you want to get out of your future experience. There are a lot of variables to consider, but don’t fret—here’s some information to get you started:

Internship

Internships are geared towards teaching skills and getting firsthand experience at a specific organization or within a specific industry. Unfortunately, some internships do not compensate you for your work, so be sure to consider your financial needs when evaluating different internship opportunities.

By the end of your internship you will hopefully have gained some skills, learned about the organization or industry, added to your professional network, and strengthened your résumé.

Get started with your internship search by looking on Duck Connect. Some employers who often hire interns are Kroger-Fred Meyer, Enterprise Rent-a-Car, and Fisher Investments, but you can adjust your search to include all available internships to see what might interest you.

Summer and Seasonal Job

Seasonal jobs offer you the opportunity to learn new skills and earn a paycheck, but there isn’t typically an opportunity to continue with the company, as the jobs are really just designed to last for the season. This is great because when the academic year starts up again, your seasonal position is probably wrapping up. Some organizations look to hire past employees back for the next season, so these opportunities are another great chance to build your professional network.

Seasonal jobs are also posted in Duck Connect. Once you’ve logged in, conduct an advanced search, updating the position type field to “Seasonal/Limited Duration” to review your options.

Volunteering

Volunteering is a great way to make a difference in the lives of others, and can also look great on your résumé. As a volunteer, you will have the chance to gain new skills, grow your network, and see how an organization operates. There are local and international opportunities to consider, and there are variables to consider with both options (including paperwork, cost, and travel expenses).

The Holden Center for Leadership and Community Engagement is a great place to start your search, and includes options like joining the Duck Corps team, participating in days of service, and identifying other service opportunities. There are also opportunities in Duck Connect, which you can narrow down by conducting an advanced search for the position type “Volunteer.”

Now that you know about your options, it’s time to start planning! Internships, seasonal jobs, and volunteering all possess great potential for personal growth, but the difficulty lies in what else you’d like to gain from the experience. Again, internships equip you with more industry-specific skills, a summer job is perfect for a change of pace from studying, and volunteering is ideal for those who want to make an impact during their break. 

With all these possibilities it might be difficult to pick which one you want to pursue, but the Career Center is here for you. Check out our website for more information, hop onto Duck Connect, schedule an appointment with an advisor, or stop by drop-in peer advising for help on making your choice.

For more internship and job specific information, come to the Internship, Summer Job and Volunteer Fair on February 14, from noon–4:00 p.m. Many employers like Kroger-Fred Meyer, Fisher Investments, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, and Target Corporation will have representatives with more information on upcoming opportunities.