As the school year comes to an end

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As the school year comes to an end summer is right around the corner for students of all ages.  However, summer means different things for people of different ages.

  • For elementary kids this might mean play dates, camps or going to the pool with mom, dad or a babysitter.
  • For middle school and high school kids this might mean hanging out with friends, working a summer job, playing an intramural sport or volunteering.

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However, for most college kids this means getting experience in the fields you are studying.  In some cases this might be volunteering or shadowing but in others this could mean working a forty-hour a week position.  Some fields where one might volunteer include:

  • Volunteering at a school (teacher)
  • Shadowing at a physical/occupational therapy unit (Physical/Occupational Therapist)
  • Volunteering at a nursing home (Nurse or physicians assistant)
  • Volunteering at humane society (Veterinarian)
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Some fields where one might need work experience include:

  • Working summer camp (teacher)
  • Working at kennel (vet)
  • Working at medical buildings (Doctor/Healthcare jobs)

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Although volunteering/shadowing and working are not the only way to gain valuable experience in a field you wish to peruse.  Another common opportunity for young people is completing and internship.  An internship is a position held within a company that teaches one the ends and outs of their company’s business and allows you to gain hands on experience in that field.  Most big firms have internship programs, which generally allows college sophomore, juniors and seniors to apply.  The most common time for students to take on an internship is the summers prior to a student’s junior or senior year and they generally run the duration of summer.  Not all internships are paid and some allow students to have more flexible hours than others, but all in all they allow students to gain experience they would not yet have.  Some big company’s who have internships include:

  • Edward Jones
  • Monsanto
  • Kraft
  • Google
  • Bank of America
  • Capital One

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To see the top paying internships in the US check out this website: http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-02-14/the-25-companies-with-the-highest-paying-internships However, Internships are not always easy to get.  Most companies have high standards they look for in students that apply.  Some of these attributes include:

  • Communication skills
  • GPA
  • Work Experience
  • Volunteer work
  • Academic honors

There are many ways to research what companies are looking for in their potential employees.  Some websites that include facts on this are:

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No matter what your degree is, there is an internship, job, shadowing or volunteering opportunity for you! However, they will not just be handed to you.  You need to put in the effort to make it happen.  Take the time to update your resume, fill out applications and make connections with people in the work force.  With the job market the way it is today, it is vital that you have something to set yourself apart from other people in your same fields.  So don’t waste time! Look at the links above and start the process to getting experience prior to graduation.

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