Summer jobs provide invaluable experience

Morgan Mickavicz Assist. Op, Ed Editor

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     While many college students already spend their winter breaks, spring breaks and long summer vacations to work for some extra money (broke college student struggle), there are many benefits to these jobs students may not be aware of. Of course, having money to pay for college, gas money, rent, food, etc. is fantastic and essential, your summer job may be helping you in more ways than paying for your housing, food, and education.

     According to an article on DegreeJungle.com, summer jobs provide college students with ample experience in time management skills. These skills are valuable during the school year as students juggle extra-curricular activities, volunteering, homework, etc. Time management is also a skill that future employers look for in applicants. And while not all students work somewhere that relates to the degree they’re working toward, those who do are getting lots of practice for their future careers. Even if your summer job does not outright appear to relate to your job, you’re probably still expected to be on time, respect your authority, have good communications skills (perhaps interpersonal and public speaking abilities), and work well with your co-workers. These are all skills that will help to prepare for a future career, so even if you’re not studying for a degree in ice-cream scooping, lifeguarding, or waiting, these jobs are helping to prepare you for your future dream job.

     As college students, we’ve probably heard about the importance of networking more than we can count. While it is exhausting to hear lectures over and over again about how “it’s all about who you know,” it is the truth. Madeline Bell, the president and CEO of CHOP stated in an article for The Huffington Post, that she often tells her own kids “you will likely get a job through who you know rather than through your education or work experience.” And many other professionals agree. The University of Connecticut (UConn)’s College of Liberal Arts and Science says that when your name is well known in a field, or by those who impact the hiring process, you have an “edge” over the other applicants in your field. So, you may not think your summer job is putting you in touch with the right people for what you want to study, but you never know who you will meet. You never know who may know someone or when you’ll help someone that can one day help you get your foot in the door for your dream job. So, take your jobs seriously, even if it seems like just a simple and easy job that helps you pay for college, food, and your rent, it may make the world of difference for you one day when you’re ready to start your career. Your summer bosses may be the ones who write you letters of recommendation someday, so impress them now so you can thank them later.

     In addition to time management skills and networking, summer jobs can teach you valuable life lessons. One day, your car may break down as you’re on your way to a higher stakes job than your summer position, but if you earn how to handle it, and other problems that could arise now, you’ll be better prepared for the future. You have practice saving money and filing your taxes, two things that you’ll need to know how to do when you have your grown-up job. Your summer job teaches you responsibility and allows you to encounter real-life problems and lessons, which can only be beneficial to you in college and life.

     So, your summer job may be one you really love or it may just be something you do so you can pay your way through school. Either way, it could be impacting you in more ways than you even know. Take advantage of the opportunities your summer job offers you this year, you never know how it could help you in your future dream career.

Morgan is a Secondary Education  and English major. She is she Vice President of College Republicans and Assistant Editor for The Voice