Stories From The Arch

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It’s All About The Experience

One of the things I’ve been thinking about is that a summer job is not always just a means to an end – it is an opportunity for growth, realization, and change. Every year I have used my summer job as a means to simply gain money. I was willing to do very laborious jobs to get a good paycheck at the end of the week. While this is okay and has worked out well for my budget, I’ve started thinking more and more about the value of trying to land a summer job in a field related to future career interests in order to support longer term goals.

Here’s why this could be important. You get to build your skill set, build your network, and get your name known within companies that you may potentially want to work for full-time in the future.

I’m going to be honest; my two pet peeves are laziness and missed opportunity. As students, the summer is our opportunity to show an employer what we’ve got!  When you land that sweet summer job, you have only four months to prove to people who you are, and what you can do. My advice, work hard to show off the skills you have and to show your new co-workers and boss what you are really capable of doing – thinking long-term gains here people.

Another huge reason why I recommend trying to land a summer job in an area of career interest is that you might find out that it’s not what you imagined that job to be but rather something totally different, for better or for worse. Last summer, I landed a job in archeology – something I thought I would pursue full-time or in graduate studies after completing my undergraduate degree.  After working in the field for an entire summer, I realized it wasn’t what I wanted. The people were amazing, but the work wasn’t for me. I am thankful that I had the learning experience while I could because it gave me one more year to try and figure out what I wanted to do before I had to graduate. Now I have started to grow in a completely different direction towards a career in marketing and communications.

We all talk about gaining “real world” experience and the summer can help transition you into a real adult before graduation rolls along. One thing I’ve learned, life isn’t going to be handed to you; it will be thrown at you while you are running around trying to pick it all up! Learn to deal with the stresses when you can and the transition will be a whole lot easier.

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About the Author

Taylor Noble blogged for the Student Success Centre from 2015 to 2016.

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