Where will your summer take you?

Exploring accessible internships and employment opportunities for students

Illustration by Lucie Rondeau

One thing all university students have in common is three to four months off from the stresses and strains of college during the summer. This time is filled with a variety of things – from student startups, to opportunities abroad, to full time work. We each have different priorities, time constraints, and budgets. Sometimes it can be difficult to find the right option for you, and sometimes you may not even realise all the options that are available! Read on for a few tips to help you make the most of the possibilities ahead for summer 2018:

  1. Start your search in Trinity

Have you considered looking for summer employment opportunities in Trinity? The Careers Advisory Service is a helpful source of information about anything related to work experience and internships. Use the resources on their website to plan your summer, or at least to do a little research. There are also options for summer experiences on campus, such as Launchbox, which provides an opportunity for students to spent the summer working on their own start-up company. Trinity can also help you to go abroad for the summer. If going away for a full year seems a little too much, why not try a summer Erasmus programme? Pop into the Global Room, or check out the study abroad section of the Trinity website if you want to get involved.

  1.  Work full time

During the summer time, most of us settle into working in the local area. Many businesses hire extra staff for the summer time, allowing students to make some much needed money. Often, seasonal jobs become available in the summer which can be a little more fun than your regular term-time job. There are opportunities to work with children in summer camps such as GAA cúl camps, and chances to work at cool events such as festivals. There are also huge advantages to sticking with your term-time job, if you have one, as a lot of employers will allow you to become full time over the summer. Staying with the same company consistently can have major benefits, such as promotion opportunities and a better working relationship with your employer.

  1. Work abroad

For those who seek a summer away, there are opportunities galore. Finding the best option should first involve focusing on your budget. Do you want to work abroad? Do you want more of a holiday? Answering these questions and defining how much you have to spend can help narrow the list. Define what you want to get out of your time away. Are you looking for experience in your field of study or more of a general life experience? A simple internet search will throw up a small mountain of options, so it is really important to find something that suits your needs and your goals – whether that’s working in a bar in Ibiza, doing a J1 in Cape Cod or anything in between! Bear in mind, of course, that working abroad means you’ll usually just break even. However, if you are savvy you can sometimes make some extra money.

Being abroad for the summer doesn’t have to mean being miles and miles away for months on end. There are a range of options that allow you to go abroad, yet are less expensive and less time consuming that a major endeavor such as a J1. Teaching English in Europe is a wonderful option, as it can be very flexible. You could au pair and make it last all summer, or you could teach in a summer camp setting for a month. If teaching English isn’t your thing, being an activity leader is a great option. There are a lot of companies that operate summer camps in the UK and Europe, and offer for contracts for anywhere from four weeks to three months. The beauty of these options is that they more often than not provide food and accommodation, which makes the whole experience much cheaper. Many of these jobs also pay better than their equivalents in the US!

  1. Consider internships

If you have the means to do an internship during the summer, it is a wonderful opportunity to get experience in a career path you may be interested in. Many of the larger Irish corporations offer internships to students during their undergraduate degree – take to the internet and look for internships in your field! Finding an internship within commuting distance can help to keep costs down and increase the practicality of this option. Many positions are unpaid, but provide insights, connections, and experience. As many internships abroad are also unpaid, staying with a relative can make these positions more doable. Your relative may also be able to help you get a part time paid job to work alongside your internship. Some positions are paid, particularly those designed for older students, so look into it. You may find a gem!

  1. Don’t underestimate voluntary work

A lot of students would ideally like to get involved and gain experience in a field related to what they are currently studying, or the career they hope to pursue. Depending on what discipline one hails from, it may be difficult to get a job in this field over the summer. Voluntary work is a way to combat the difficulty in gaining experience, as it is much easier to attain. Send emails to places of work that interest you, and ask if you could complete work experience. For those who would also like to make money during the summer, doing one day a week of work experience is a great option, as this may still allow you to work a paid job. Some employers may also be happy to extend work experience for longer periods of time, if that is the kind of experience you are after.

Volunteering to work with charities is also an option for the summer months. There are a wealth of options both at home and abroad. Find a cause that you feel passionate about and set about finding ways to get involved. Start with the charities on campus and find out if they have options for during the summer. After that, Google is your friend! This type of volunteering can often be tailored to suit your own time frame – you can do anything from a couple of hours a week all the way up to teaching English abroad for three months!