What You Should Gain From Summer Work Experience

Students love the summer because it allows them time to rest and re-energize after finishing up a tough year in classes. It’s also a season in which students can utilize their down time to learn something new, pursue career interests, or go on an explorative trip. If you choose to take a job or internship this summer, then be sure that you are prepared to both give your time and gain something in return. Here are five key things that you should remember while working this summer. 

Build A Network

When you are working at a new place, you have intimate access to experts and professionals in a select field that most people don’t get the chance to meet on an average workday. Network with them. Attend company barbeques. Build a relationship with one to two people in your workplace that you feel could become lifelong mentors.  Ask inquisitive and intelligent questions. These small things are what people remember and will make it easier for you to ask for a recommendation or job in the future.

Be Frugal

Summer pay for apprentices and interns are notoriously low in the fashion, media and entertainment industries, so be sure to save up your paychecks and use them wisely. Large corporations sometimes offer discounts to their interns during the summer because they know how tough it can be to get by on very little change in a new city. Take advantage of these offers. Also, don’t be ashamed to clip coupons, pack your own lunch, or attend free summer events.

Make Friends

The people you meet during an internship can be valuable to your job search. Instead of trying to compete with everyone around you, get to know your colleagues by having lunch with them and asking them about their day when you come in. You never know -- they could be the ones to help you when you get bogged down with a work assignment or when you need to connect with a future employer.

Find Mentorship

Some people think that all an intern does is copy tedious amounts of information or go on coffee runs for the office. This is not how your summer experience should be. Instead, if you find yourself in these traps, talk to your boss about providing you with extra work. Explain to him or her what your career goals and dreams are. Your boss should be somebody that you consider to be a mentor in your life; someone that truly believes in your future. Seek mentorship over servitude this summer. They are there to help you grow.

Be Ready to Explore

Venturing outside of your hometown is always a good way to connect with new people and to see a new place. Moving away from home, even if just for the summer, can be mentally freeing and personally maturing.  Take time outside of work to learn about your new city and surroundings. Summer experiences are all about growth and development – use this time wisely to be introspective and to learn something new about yourself.

Have you learned lessons from previous summer experiences? What tips would you add to this list? 


photo credit: connect.euranet 

Tagged: summer jobs work experience