3 Ways to Get Ahead This Summer

I’ve just wrapped up my first year at the University of Southern California. It’s been a year of transition and difficulties and compromises, but also one full of amazing experiences, people, and classes.

But now that the year has come to a close, a common sentiment I hear is “now what?” As transfers, we’re often in a limbo where we are much more knowledgeable than freshman, but don’t quite have the same experiences as others who have never experienced transferring. One of the best things to do is to not spend the whole summer relaxing, but to continue attacking the next few months as if school were still in session. Here are some ideas on what steps to take:

Summer

  • Find an internship or job. Regardless of year or status, having these experiences will help you stand out when you’re applying for a full-time job, or even for a club position at school or an internship you’re eyeing for next semester. Don’t know where to start? The best place to begin is your school’s career site. There, you’ll find specific postings from companies that are looking for students just like you. From there, expand to sites like LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and internships.com to find internships near where you’ll be during the summer. Have a specific company in mind? Find the company’s website itself—oftentimes there is information about internships specific to the firm. Remember, it’s never too late to apply, as a lot of firms are still looking for interns. Here are some tips on how you can present yourself professionally in interviews.
  • Take summer classes. We know how notoriously difficult it is to transfer, especially because most of us have to re-take courses and petition for credit. This is a great opportunity to catch up to your peers, or even get ahead. If you are taking the classes at a different institution, make sure the credits transfer!
  • If you’re applying to transfer, take time to think about your application. These summer months are a really good time to plan out your essays, reach out to advisors with questions, and collect all the necessary information beforehand. You’ll thank yourself when you have most of the application fine-tuned by the time midterms and finals roll around. Here is a Transfer Timeline with some ideas on how you can schedule yourself.

Most importantly, do something worthwhile with your time that you will be able to genuinely speak about and reflect upon later. Find a cause you are passionate about and give back to the community. Find a mentor or even mentor others. Read, write, and travel. Whichever you choose, all of these experiences help you grow and better yourself, and ultimately benefit you in the long run.

If you need help finding resources about internships or summer classes, or transferring questions in general, don’t hesitate to reach out by commenting or emailing us!

–Michelle L.