Student Life

Prepare for a Career: Summer Jobs, Internships, Networking

It’s never too early (or too late!) to start preparing for a career once you graduate!

Student Contributor, Jasmin Kaur

May 05, 2023

Prepare for a Career: Summer Jobs, Internships, Networking
Prepare for your career with a summer job, internship, and networking.
Whether you’re a college freshman or senior, it’s never a bad time to start thinking about what you’re going to do after graduating. From snagging an interesting internship to networking during events hosted by your university, the best time to start preparing for a career is now!

5 Tips for Preparing for the Workforce

1. Polish up (or create) that resume! 

A resume is often the first thing on an employer’s desk that gives them a picture of who you are academically, professionally, and personally, so it’s crucial to ensure that your resume is polished, updated, and professional.
Visit your campus career center to get help crafting a concise and organized resume, finding summer jobs and internships, or practicing a mock interview. When applying to a position, make sure to do some editing and tailor the resume to the listing!  

2. Don’t be afraid to talk!

If your university is hosting an event with a company you may be directly interested in working for, or even adjacent to your area of interest, go to that event! Networking is one of the strongest strategies to help you land a job after graduation.
Dress well, have an elevator pitch prepared, and, above all, stay relaxed and don’t be afraid to show off a bit of your personality. Let employers know you’re interested, leave a good first impression, and—who knows? They might remember you when you check back a year or two later for a position!  

3. Apply!

Think that internship is too prestigious? Apply. Excited about a summer job even though it doesn’t directly correlate with what you’re studying? Apply. Need money? Apply. Do not hesitate to apply for an internship or job over the summer because that is the best time to get professional experience since you don’t have to worry about classes. Whether it’s a reach internship, a side hobby you’re passionate about, or simply a way to make some quick cash, don’t be afraid to apply for the position.
You may not end up exactly where you wanted to, but it can relate to your area of study in one way or another. No matter how small or large the position, what matters in the end is how you frame the role on your resume, and how you connect your experience with what you’re pursuing. Having some sort of practical, professional experience on your resume shows employers you can handle an environment outside of academics.  

4. Recognize and use your major!

While it may seem self-explanatory, don’t forget to use your major to every advantage possible when applying for a job. Whether looking for high-paying locations (for instance, some cities look for STEM majors while others may be more inclined towards the humanities), estimating average salary, or figuring out demand, your major is a crucial element of what kind of job you get after graduating. Start thinking now of how your major will fit in the grander scheme of things and tailor your coursework accordingly if necessary.  

5. Know your skills and priorities!

Don’t underestimate yourself when creating a plan of action, but also remain realistic. Create a list of skills that accurately match your abilities, and factor in your priorities, whether it be a salary range, work environment, ratio of collaborative and individual projects, commuting distance, or some other crucial preference. Carefully look at the job posting when applying and see how your skills match to determine what unique experiences you bring to the table, or think about how your experiences or skills might translate to a job that doesn’t entirely mold to your area of study (for instance, an English major emphasizing critical writing skills for a business-related position). The better prepared you are to present yourself on the application or at the interview, the stronger the chances are of having your priorities met. 

Never Too Early to Prepare for a Career

While graduation may be some time away, it is never too early to start preparing a plan of action after you finish studying, especially in today’s competitive job market. Research your major and job prospects and start thinking about what you ultimately want to do. What you envision today might not be the plan a week, month, or year later, and that’s okay! Plans change and we adapt. Find a core reason for why you are pursuing what you are studying and use that as the foundation for your career search.

Join Fastweb.
Match Instantly.

Become a member and gain exclusive access to our database of over 1.5 million scholarships.

I am a:
Parents: Complete the questions using your child's information
Please select a grade level
Please enter a valid zip code.

By clicking, I agree to the Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.