Summer Planning is now….wait, didn’t it just become winter
Guess what Sophomores— it is time to start planning your summer. Yes! Juniors too! These next summers are critical in your college process. The summer time is the ideal time to start doing important activities for your overall experience and to help build a memorable resume. You want an activity resume that catches an Admissions officer’s eye. Since you will be off from traditional school, this is the time to add skill sets that you do not necessarily get to use while in school.
What are the offerings that you should start looking into now? Well, I say now because you really need to apply for some NOW. Yes, NOW. Many jobs and summer college programs are completely off the table by the end of March. So you need to get cracking on this now.
First on deck: College Programs for high school students that involve course credit. These programs are at the colleges. You apply for these programs. You must typically report your PSAT scores and your latest GPA. You often must write an essay on the application as well. How do I select a good program?
There are few criteria to pay attention to: 1) the program is actually offered by the University or college, itself. You do not want a program that is simply AT a college, for which the program is run by a company or organization rather than the school.
2) The program earns you college credit. Do not simply go to something that is designed for fun. Go to learn, experience, and be part of the college.
3) Pick a college that you might actually apply to or is on your list. Why go to a college you have no desire to attend and furthermore that you aren’t interested in at all.
4) It is nice if the college you choose (pay attention to this juniors) gives you some consideration for attending the summer program when you apply in the fall of your senior year. Many do not give ANY consideration whatsoever. So do not make this the deal breaker, but it is nice if the program does give you an edge should you want to apply.
5) Now something else to consider is the cost. Many of the summer programs offer no financial assistance whatsoever, but some secondary schools actually offer funds for their students to go to college programs during the summer. This is something you must ask upfront. Some colleges do offer some funds, but generally, this is not something that is funded whatsoever.
Is it necessary to attend a college program in the summer, for if I can’t, will it look bad on my resume? NO. There are many other worthwhile activities to do over the summer. The College programs, allow students to see a college and experience it firsthand. It allows for a college experience, but by no means is it required. But remember the timing is critical!
These programs fill up and are completely unavailable usually by the end of March. So ACT NOW! If you do not have a clue and want some guidance, please contact us!
What else can I do with this valuable summer time that can help with my overall resume for college?
Second, and really one of the most respected additions to any student resume, is work. Yes, get a job. What kind of job, depends on you, your geography, etc. But a paying job is impressive to any college. You should consider seeking out your towns Teen Summer Coops or Teen Job programs. Many small towns have an actual department in their town that handles Youth Employment. Many local small businesses list available teen jobs with the Town government. These are specifically designated jobs for teens. Another avenue is to do the footwork yourself! Yes, get out there yourself, and start to ask for a job. Join the ranks of pretty much most adults.
You need to have a resume. If you do not have a resume and need a template, contact us, we have one for free! You can use it as a guide to create your own resume. If you need support or assistance, we offer an affordable service for just that purpose. Once you have your resume done, you will need to make some copies, on really nice paper. So buy some good quality resume bond paper. Ask at your local copy shop if you are unsure. Then you set out and start going into places you’d like to work and ask to speak to a manager. You can also ask for an employment application. Most businesses have an employment or work application. So you go and get yourself a job! Hesitant? Need a bit of interview coaching? We do that too! Contact us, it is affordable, professional advice, and we can leave you with a video recording to help you change some things that come across as less than desirable in an interview.
An example for someone who is interested in working outdoors for the summer and enjoys working with plants and so forth: search for the number of landscapers, yard companies, garden centers and so forth in your town or an area in which you can get to. If you can’t drive, but you a have transportation system, use your ability to get to work on time as a guide for how far you can go for a job. Then from now until you secure a job, go to one or two every weekend or after school, and bring your resume. Go into the shop or office, say hello. Then say, I am interested in summer work, and I would like to fill out and application. I have a resume and if someone is available to speak with me, I can interview now. If no one is there, leave your resume, ask for the person’s name you need to speak with, and then call them the next day as follow up. Call back in a week, if you still have not heard. Don’t be shy! Get that job!
Third, you can volunteer for Community Service in your town. Most towns have a section of the local newspaper dedicated to: Volunteers Needed. Start taking down the information and the same process for looking for a job typically follows. Go fill out an application, leave your resume, and follow up.
Forth, you can participate in a skill building camp. There are many camps dedicated to teaching skills for teens. Some are risk taking in nature, others are academic, and some are arts and music oriented. A camp in which you stretch yourself to discover something new and learn something about yourself is always a good addition to a resume. I had a student last summer who was taking a teen camp at a Culinary School in NYC! She adored it.
Bottom line is that NOW, RIGHT NOW, is the time that you need to get things lined up for the summer. You might not have funds to do elaborate fun activities or travel, but working and volunteering are important. Even a steady summer job of babysitting is impressive to a college.