Using your Summer Break to Possibly Help with College Applications It’s not too late! It may be mid summer, but use these hot summer’s days to get a job, volunteer, attend a mission trip …..all to help your college application. By taking these tips and keeping a record, the college admission team, scholarship committee and your future boss will see your personality and determination by how you spent your summers over high school. It may turn into what you write about in you college essay and provide you invaluable experience personally, academically and perhaps eventually professionally
Make a resume Start an Excel spreadsheet. List the company name, address and contact person; what you did (responsibilities) at the company and the hours spent doing it. This can be started in 9th grade and added to over each break, summer and even if you have an after school job. Also add in any awards you receive and clubs you join. Think back you probably have a few already… sports, captain, student council, etc…
2014 Atlanta Mission Sorted cans of food 3 days 5 hours each shift 30 hours
2014 Lacrosse Team Goalie Spring Semester
Vary your work
Volunteer Many students have volunteer positions with their school, community or church and can be everything from volunteering as a softball coach, going abroad on mission trips, building houses with Habitat for Humanity, or even helping out on a ecological or marine based conservation project. If you need to raise funds for these projects and trips , look to social media sites like www.gofundme.com . This initiative of fundraising only shows the colleges and future employers that you are resourceful and think outside the box. It is an added asset in your abilities. Sites to look for volunteer jobs are:
Take a summer class that is not offered in high school Take an art class, spend time on a music or theatre production or take courses at a Tech College in your city. This is a great way to see what it is like on campus without the school year pressure. There are workshops for a week or two that highlight a skill or a subject that may not give you credit, but will enhance your college pursuit and possibly help you decide on your major.
Internship or Shadow If there is a person that you know in your life (maybe a coach, at church or a family friend) that has a job you can see yourself doing, ask if you can shadow them for a week or two. This may be just doing their busy work such as copying papers and running errands, but you will be able to see how their day runs, what their main tasks are and be in the environment to meet others in the same industry. If you are interested in politics perhaps you can look online and request to be a Page via the states Page Program, shadow an investment banker if finance is you interest, or even work on a ranch for a few weeks if agriculture is your goal as a major. People are usually willing to have a younger person learn from them and may lead into a paid job the following year.
Like your parents say…Get a job Look in your local paper or online and see what is available in your city. Having experience and providing a list of what you have done in the past will be helpful upon your interview. Many jobs that teens often have are lifeguarding (check online for a CPR course that is offered at your local YMCA), camp counselor, retail stores, dog walking etc.. If you are talented in computers, offer some neighbors help with their photo storage and printing, offer your help on graphic design websites like www.logomyway.com where you can compete for a job and payment, usually via Paypal. Sell old things on Ebay and set up a shop and sell for others. This is a great way to be innovative and make some money also.
Junior Year, make the spreadsheet into a resume Look online images of student resumes and create one that represents you. I have seen very formal ones that are on crisp white paper to ones that are more creative and include a student’s photo on them. I would advise one page, but it is up to you and what you have to include that will make yours stand out. Gear it toward the type of job you are looking for, or the school you are applying for, with highlights and design.
The “And So On” Blog by Jena Young
Jena Young is an advocate for students who learn differently and the Co-Founder of RiSE Scholarship Foundation, Inc.
The advice in this blog is from her personally and not intended as professional advice from RiSE.