A&E — 22 May 2017

By Brianna Ross @itsbriross

Summer break is a great time to develop marketable skills to prepare for the transition from academia into the workforce.

It has always been stressed that summer internships are instrumental in helping students gain valuable professional experience, develop on-the-job skills, and determine if they’re on the right career path – but what if you don’t have an internship?

Whether they didn’t have enough experience, bombed the interview, or simply couldn’t afford to work for free for 20 hours a week, many students are currently facing a summer sans-internship. However, this doesn’t mean they can’t still use their summer break to develop sought-after skills and boost their resume.

If you are a student found in this position, there are a variety of projects that can be undertaken based on certain fields of study or interests that will help you hone valuable skills and your knowledge and abilities to prospective employers.

Communications, English, and journalism majors
Students in these fields would benefit from starting a blog and writing in it regularly. Not only will this make it easy for them to get their writing in front of readers and prospective employers, but it is also an opportunity to demonstrate any web design skills they may have picked up along the way.

Earth/environmental science and agricultural science majors
Environmentally-minded students would benefit from attending regional meet-ups of like-minded individuals and organizing events such as park or highway clean-ups.
For those more interested in agricultural science, designing and planting a garden would be a great way to demonstrate sought-after skills like creativity and innovation.

Computer science majors
These budding digital pioneers have a lot of options for summer projects they can take on depending on their specific focus. Developing a personal website is a great way to demonstrate their web development skills and is easy to share with prospective employers.

Graphic design majors
To show off their creativity and visual fair, design students could offer to design and create flyers or other promotional marketing material for other artists or entrepreneurs. This would be a great way to develop a portfolio of work to showcase.

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