“Did you get an internship? Oh, then I guess you have other summer plans?”
Let’s face it; we get asked these questions A LOT. With Denison’s rigorous and well-rounded academic curriculum and a comprehensive list of resources, including the Knowlton Center, the Red Frame Lab, and the Lisska Center, we are, in some way, expected to perform well. Still, career exploration can be challenging, especially if you are only looking for that ‘ideal’ internship.
So here’s what I did, and what YOU should do:
1. Summer Courses
There are so many free online courses, including ones offered by Denison Edge. You may also enroll in summer schools in your hometown to get GEs and major requirements knocked out of your way! Just make sure you get pre-approval from the Registrar and the department chairs to transfer those credits toward the graduation requirement.
2. Job Shadowing
As I mentioned in my previous post, Denison has a really supportive alumni network. You may reach out to our alumni through LinkedIn and Wisr to set up a quick call and ask for job shadowing opportunities. You will be surprised at how much you can learn even in a couple of days.
3. Community Service
Engaging in your community is another way to spend your summer productively. Whether it is tutoring children, or picking up trash in the neighborhood, volunteering will teach you some of the most important skills – collaboration, responsibility, and perseverance.
4. Part-time Jobs
In an ideal world, I would do whatever I want to do over the summer, traveling across the world with my friends and family. But I can’t! That is why during my first year, I took on additional part-time jobs, including tutoring while taking summer school. Even if it seems unrelated to what you want to do in the future, you should still do it! You never know what you will learn from that experience.
5. Scholarships and fellowships
It is always better to start looking for outside scholarships and fellowship opportunities as early as possible. Even if you are a first-year student, it is definitely worth researching early because some require specific courses or experiences to be eligible for the award. You will most likely need a letter of recommendation as well, so you can start talking to your professors and be an early starter!
The purpose of your summer vacation is to find out what you are curious about. It is not about that internship title, but what you actually do. Don’t get me wrong; you should definitely be proud of yourself if you have landed an internship! Congrats! But even if you did not, it is NOT the end of the world. Remember, everything happens for a reason, and for a good reason.
Be the pioneer of your life, not a follower of others 🍀