Helping Your Student Find Meaningful Summer Employment

It may be hard to believe right now, but summer will be here before we know it.  While many students are just trying to make it to spring break, we know many Miami parents are already thinking about what their students will be doing this summer. While a lot of focus is on formal “internships,” and with good reason, outside of specific fields (i.e., finance, accounting, and engineering) internships are not often available to students until their junior year and they are limited in number.  

For that reason, we encourage you to talk with your student about finding meaningful summer employment or summer practiced learning opportunities (e.g., faculty supervised research, service, client-sponsored classroom projects) that can help add to your student’s skill set whether it is a formal internship or not. Employers value all of these experiences when looking to hire candidates.

In the Center for Career Exploration & Success, we encourage students to:

  • consider their long-term interests;
  • the skills they already acquired through co-curricular activities, coursework, and outside jobs;
  • and to figure out where they have gaps in their skill set. 

Summer employment can help build on existing skill sets or bring additional skills to your student’s employment tool kit.  

The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) surveyed employers to better understand what skills they are looking for in college graduates and among the top skills employers were looking for was an ability to:

  • communicate verbally;
  • work in a team setting;
  • make decisions and solve problems;
  • plan, organize and prioritize work;
  • obtain and process information;
  • analyze quantitative data;
  • sell or influence others;
  • create and edit written reports.  

Summer employment is a wonderful way to add to these skill sets. Whether working in retail, at a summer camp, a restaurant, or volunteering, students gain capacities in many of these areas.  Employers are often excited about candidates who can talk about:

  • what they learned through their summer employment,
  • how they demonstrated increasing responsibility,
  • and the ways in which they contributed to making the organization of which they were a part better. 

Identifying opportunities for summer employment that provide an opportunity to do these things will absolutely contribute to making your student more employable.   In the meantime, if your student wants to meet with someone to talk about career related goals and the types of summer employment that will be meaningful, please encourage your student to stop by our office!  Additionally, our website has links that can assist your student in finding summer employment.