Resources on Campus

Summer Employment

There’s no way around it, by definition, summer jobs imply temporary. But don’t overlook the long-term benefits summer employment offers students! They can walk away with more than a paycheck. Here are some tips adapted from eHow.com to help your student find the right summer job:

  • Suggest that they consider their interests. Ask them what they enjoy doing.

  • Recommend they consider their preferences. Do they like working inside with controlled temperatures or outside in the elements? Would they rather work alone or surrounded by people?

  • Ask them to make a list of their contacts. Consider friends, teachers, neighbors and relatives…they all make up a network of possible contacts. Encourage them to get the word out that they are looking for summer employment.

  • Once they have identified their interests, preferences and contacts, prompt them to list potential jobs that coincide with their personal profile. If they are an inside-people person they might look for a job such as retail sales, secretary or office runner. If they are outdoor-solitary people they may enjoy a job in areas such as landscaping, delivery or warehouse stocking.

  • Encourage them to use the internet and local publications to see what jobs are available in their area. They should start their summer job search in the spring to get the jump on all the last-minute applicants.

College students should be prepared to make choices about summer employment as a means to acquire new skills, develop positive work habits, meet potential mentors, build their personal network, and explore possible career paths. Temporary or not, summer employment is an excellent means by which to gain valuable experience!

The Value of Internships

An internship is a hands-on, practical experience in a student’s major that affords the student valuable work experience before graduation. Students develop skills in written and oral communication, leadership, decision-making, problem-solving and team building…all highly valued skills regardless of one’s occupation. Additionally, internships may be useful in opening doors of opportunity after graduation.

In today’s economy, the interview and selection process for entry-level positions can be particularly competitive and tedious. At times, there are hundreds of candidates applying for the same job, all with good grades and many with degrees from notable schools like Purdue. How then, will your student compete? How can your student increase his or her marketability?

Employers seek well-rounded individuals who can analyze, evaluate, communicate, collaborate and work cooperatively with others. As part of the required curriculum, students at Purdue Calumet are required to complete two experiential learning courses before graduation. Combining those courses with an internship will allow your student to stand out from other graduates. They will have that “competitive edge.”

Through internships, students gain valuable work experience, earn money (in most cases), identify specific areas of interest, make valuable personal contacts, and in general, learn about the “real world.” Many employers use their internship programs as pre-recruiting tools. Some consider only former interns for full-time positions. In many cases, internships are viewed as “extended interviews” or “ trial employment periods.” For those students who perform well, internships can be win-win situations for both employers and students.