SUMMER. IS. UNDERWAY. We thought it would never come! While we need to take the time to relax from this last semester, it is not too late to plan summer activities that will add value to your college education and your resume! Summertime is an awesome way to gain work experience and learn new things. Do some research for opportunities to get involved in your community, take classes, learn new things and try to have a productive summer.  Here is a list of tips on how you can have a productive summer:


  1. Summer Classes

Taking summer classes can be very beneficial.  Not only can you take steps to assure that you complete your major in time to graduate, but summer classes have academic benefits.  Summer classes are often smaller in size and you can usually get more one-on-one attention, make new friends, and have a personal connection with the professor. In addition, because most students only take 1 or 2 classes, it is likely that your grades will improve and the summer courses will help your GPA and boost self-confidence. Even if you’re not taking a University class, learning skills from free online classes or tutorials can help give you a leg up in future semesters and in internships.


  1. Work a Summer Job

Even though you might have had your heart set on an internship in the area of your choice, there are plenty of places you can work. Check out ChargerPath for amazing summer on-campus and off-campus jobs. A summer job is a great way to earn money and it will make a nice addition to your resume.  Holding down a job as a student requires discipline, commitment, and maturity. Plus, if you form a strong relationship with your boss, they may even be able to write an additional letter of recommendation for future jobs.  The other benefit of working is to get experience on what you LIKE to do and what you do NOT like to do.  


  1. Community Service or Volunteer Work

One way to get some work experience and contribute to a cause you’re passionate about is through volunteering. There are many places near you that could use a little extra help from the animal shelter to the local community center to the nearby non-profit. If you’re looking for experience in an office environment, local government, or a nonprofit, they could probably use a passionate, dedicated volunteer. If you like working with kids, animals, or the outdoors, there are community organizations like boys’ and girls’ clubs and the YMCA that are always seeking volunteers. Remember that employers are not going to ask you how much money you earned, but they will ask about your experience.


  1. Start a new hobby or project

Summer is a great time to explore your interests or start a new project. You can use your free time as an opportunity to learn a skill you don’t have time to do during the school year. Interests could include learning to play the guitar, learning how to use Python, learning a new language, a new sport or activity. 


  1. Set up Networking opportunities

Take the time during the summer to join meet-up groups that are centered around professional discussions, common interests, or activities. Practice talking to strangers about yourself and your goals. Update your Charger Path and LinkedIn profiles by having a professional photo and completing your online bio. Take the time in the summer to clean up your digital profile. This is key to getting an internship next year and preparing for your career future.


  1. Keep a binder or journal of your thoughts and ideas

Compile your thoughts and ideas about your future, future careers, careers you have never heard of, etc. in one place to refer to later. Research potential careers and companies and keep notes organized to refer to in the future. When you find articles or videos on the internet, keep a record in a place where you can find it later.