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Sumertime...
and the livin aint so easy!
FINDING THE PERFECT SUMMER JOB

The summer break is of course a great time for you to hang out at the beach. However, its also a great time for you to pursue interests and gain experience through paid or volunteer jobs, internships, and other activities. And don't forget, college admission officers see meaningful summer activities as a demonstration of commitment and responsibility.

One of the best ways to find opportunities is simply by asking people you know, a.k.a. networking. Start with your parents, friends, teachers, counselor, and relatives. If you've already got something in mind tell them. They may have suggestions you haven't thought of, and may know people you can contact for more information.

Here are some suggestions to help you start your brainstorming:

1. THINK BIG

The world's a big place; see if you can come up with an idea to match. Start thinking about what you would really like to do. For example, do you enjoy the outdoors and hiking? Look into becoming a counselor in training at a summer camp or getting a job at a national park - almost all of them hire summer help. Of course, you'll have to get permission to range too far from home, but don't limit yourself. See how crazy an idea you can come up with. Let someone else say, "no."

2. THINK ABOUT CAREERS

If you already have an idea about a career you'd like to pursue, summer break is your chance to test the real thing against your expectations. You may be anything from an aspiring attorney to a would-be bookstore owner. Start by calling up businesses and organizations that are related to your interests, and find out if they need any help. Even if they're not hiring, they may have suggestions you can use to continue your search. Consider pursuing a paid or unpaid internship..

3. THINK ABOUT CREATING YOUR OWN JOB

During your job search you're likely to come across a potential employer that just can't afford to hire you. If you're really interested in working there, offer your services for free. The job skills you gain may be worth their weight in gold -- just as you pay college professors to teach, work experience can be equally valuable. Treat unpaid jobs and internships as you would a paid position. Be on time, pay attention, and work hard. In return you'll get great skills, a glowing recommendation, and maybe even an offer of a paid position down the road.

4. THINK ABOUT CREATING YOUR OWN BUSINESS

Being your own boss definitely has its rewards. Be warned though, it can be hard work, too! But don't let that scare you off if you really want to try going it on your own. There are lots of potential small businesses you could try to create. For example, if you know a foreign language, people may pay you to teach them how to speak it. Or, if you're good with plants, you could spend the summer as a landscaper. Start calling people now and see if you can line up a few clients.

5. THINK ABOUT GETTING MORE INVOLVED

Consider more exploring the interests you pursue during the school year more in-depth. If you have a job that really interests you, consider asking not just for more hours but more responsibility, to expand your experience and knowledge. Sticking with one organization or job gives you depth and breadth -- and shows you've made a real commitment.

6. THINK ABOUT NOT GETTING A JOB

Colleges, of course, like to see that students have kept busy doing something constructive with their summer vacation, but that doesn't necessarily mean you have to have a traditional job. Maybe you're really into acting or dance or sports and you want to devote your full-time energy to formally developing those skills. Not only are there special programs out there, but most colleges will allow high school students to take an actual college class.

7. THINK ABOUT VOLUNTEERING

Spending a summer pitching in at a local charity is a great way to learn about life and yourself. And it can help you develop leadership skills that will last a lifetime.

For more information on finding that
perfect summer job log onto:
www.collegeboard.com


 

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