6 things you should do this summer instead of interning

By Brittany Gregg, Opinion Editor

While many Zips may cross their required internship or co-op off their list this summer, others are faced with needing to fill in a list of what-to-do-for-four-months.

Students who do not land their internship or co-op for the summer should not be discouraged, as there are semesters awaiting to be filled with new experiences. There are several options and opportunities to make this summer worthwhile both productively speaking and in regard to one’s resume — and many of them can be more rewarding than sitting inside a cubicle for 40 hours a week.

  1. Study Abroad

What better way to spend the summer than in another country? Studying abroad is more valuable than one could ever imagine. It is a chance for you to further your education in a new setting that will challenge you to think outside of our cultural norms here in Ohio.

If you are considering to study abroad, visit Simmons Hall room 301 to prepare for next summer’s endless array of opportunities, which include trips to South Africa, China, Australia and so many more continents.

  1. Summer Classes

If studying abroad is not in your budget, consider speaking with your advisor and scheduling summer classes. Taking up classes guarantees that you will graduate in time and not have to take up an extra semester. Summer classes are notorious for being more one-on-one due to smaller class sizes and the professors you interact with could turn into mentors afterward.

Summer classes can give you more perspective on the major you have chosen and why particular classes are beneficial to your career.

  1. Undergraduate Research

For many students, research is the best way to better understand your field. It hones in on your interests and allows you to interact with others who are just as passionate.  

While many may think undergraduate research is mostly for science majors, there are opportunities for research in almost any field. The most beneficial perk of conducting research over the summer is receiving grants and fellowships for research projects. Though you may not obtain credits towards your degree, it is definitely something to consider adding to your resume. Here at UA, many departments provide hands-on research experiences for undergraduates (REUs). Visit the College of Arts & Sciences on the fourth floor for research opportunities.

  1. Start A New Hobby or Project

For those who may want a break from studying or working, consider exploring an interest you have put on the back burner.

Many organizations at UA sponsor programs over the summer — along with various group activities at the Rec. Even starting a new project that aligns with your career goals or considering starting up a new organization come fall semester. It can be as simple as a blog, your own website, or even volunteering a few times a week. Either way, it is always valuable to gain new skills and experiences. Not only can you add this newfound hobby or project to your resume in some way, but it goes to show self-motivation for interviews.

  1. Work

For many of us, the summer is not a break or time to fluff off. It is the perfect time of the year to put our noses to the grindstone and save money for the following semesters. It pays off when you do not have to be a student and work at the same time. Plus you will have extra spending money. You can also finally fulfill the internship or co-op program during the school year.

  1. Volunteer

Whether you are in a sorority, fraternity, or already dedicate a few hours a week to giving back to the community, humbly offering your time can be rewarding in return. Many volunteer opportunities allow for travel and in addition to the chance to gain and strengthen leadership skills. Yet again, another opportunity to enhance your resume.

Even by starting community projects, such as a local walk for a cause that you are passionate about or someone close to you is suffering from, you can gain experience. Starting a project can contribute to you gaining organizational and professional skills needed to pursue career goals.

For those who, for whatever reason, are not interning this summer, consider at least one of these six ways to spend this summer. It is important to look ahead and make the most of every minute not here on campus. Having a plan and making the most of each break enables you to progress and be more productive. Like Allen Laiken once said: “Failing to plan, is planning to fail.”