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Choosing Between a Summer Job and an Internship


Shoe, notebook, and tape measurer

If you’re looking for a way to be productive during your break from school, both a summer internship and a summer job can suit your needs. But therein lies the problem – it can be hard to choose between the two options!

If you are wondering which choice would be most advantageous, consider the benefits of each one before you put in your application for either.

Summer Jobs Always Pay

The very definition of a job seems to involve making money, which is not the case with an unpaid internship during college. Of course, if you can find a paying internship, your decision might be easier.

At the same time, even summer internships that pay money don’t often pay much. This is likely because their primary objective is to teach students the skills they will need for a particular career, not pay the bills.

Summer Job Hours Are Usually More Flexible

Depending on where you end up working, you will probably find that the hours are more flexible than the typical summer internship. This is because most internships only offer hours on weekdays, whereas you might be able to pick up extra hours on nights and weekends when you get a summer job.

Of course, this might not matter during the summer, since your weekdays are probably free anyway on your break from school! So if you are looking to fill your days from 9 to 5, a summer internship may be perfect for you.

Internships Teach You Career Skills

As a college student, your ultimate goal is likely a career, not just a job. Obtaining a summer internship can put you one step closer to that, while a simple summer job will not, unless your job happens to be in the industry you’re studying.

For example, if you want to be a lawyer, being an intern in a law office or even the law library is more likely to prepare you for that career than making coffee or bartending during the summer will.

Of course, if you are studying the hospitality industry in college, your job as a barista or bartender during the summer would teach you the skills you need. It would also get your resume off to a good start.

Internships Are Great for Networking

One of the best parts about being an intern is that you often get to meet influential people in the industry that interests you. This can come in handy in the future, such as when you need a recommendation as you apply for your first job after college.

In fact, you might see the benefit of your summer internship even sooner than that, since many hard-working interns get hired once they graduate. This way, as long as you impress your boss, there’s a chance you can start your career after college instead of having to work at a job you’re not interested in just to pay the bills!

If you’re still not sure whether you should go for a summer internship or a job, why not apply for both and see what happens?



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