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US College: Summer without an internship?

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With the end of the school year approaching and the summer internship hiring season coming to a close, many students are approaching me in a panic wondering what they should do if they don’t snag an internship for the summer.

First of all, don’t panic. There are still opportunities for you to productively use your time this summer without doing an internship. While Intel places a high value on internship experience when we consider you for full-time positions, we also favorably consider other types of experience and background.

Research: Summer is prime time for PhD students doing research and they just might be able to use your talents. If you are an undergrad or a Masters student considering a PhD, finding a research project on campus is a great way to gain experience you can point to on your resume and gain a deeper knowledge in your area of study or a related field. It is also a great way to clarify if pursuing a PhD is in your future. Talk to your favorite professor or contact your department.

Take a class or two: Your normal academic schedule is likely pretty jam packed with things you “have to do” to move towards graduation. Summer is a great time to take a class outside your core curriculum or perhaps to explore your interests at a deeper level. Classes are usually smaller in the summer which can translate into more time to interact with your professor or simply time to think more deeply than you have time for during the school year.

Teach: You know more than you think! Many universities offer outreach programs for high school students and incoming freshman. Often these programs need teaching assistants. Teaching is a great way to share your expertise and helps you gain a deeper knowledge of your subject area. If you are heading home for the summer, many museums and community organizations offer programs that could use your knowledge. Sharing your passion with students is a great way to give back to the next generation while you build your resume for the future.