Other Ways to Gain Experience
Internships are not the only way to gain valuable experience and learn marketable skills. Employers and graduate/professional programs will be interested in candidates who are well-rounded and have developed their transferable skills. Some examples include:
Volunteering is a wonderful way for you to network, gain experience, and enhance your skills. Employers like to see well-rounded candidates who can contribute to their organization in a number of ways. Volunteering is one way to round out your education and build yourself into an attractive candidate. Experiences don't have to be directly related to your career goal. Simply pick an activity/cause that has meaning for you and dedicate some time to making a difference - it's as simple as that!
Links for Volunteering Opportunities:
- Center for Civic Engagement
- United Way of Broome County
- Binghamton University Student Service Organizations
- AmeriCorps: National Civilian Community Corps
- New York State Commission on National and Community Service
Summer and part-time jobs can be more than just a way to make money. Consider exploring opportunities more in line with your career goals. For instance, interested in teaching? Try working at a summer camp. Want to go into a business field? Find work in an office setting. While the job itself may not be exactly what you'd like to pursue in the future, you can gain related experience and/or develop the skills employers and/or graduate schools will seek in candidates. Once you begin your job, seek out opportunities to learn more and enhance your skills in order to make the most of your experience.
Summer/Part-Time Jobs Links:
- eRecruiting (lists Student Employment positions, including undergraduate and graduate work study and PT opportunities both on and off campus)
- A-Plus Summer and Seasonal
- Camp Staff
- Cool Works Summer Positions
- Fun Jobs
- iD Tech Camps at Columbia University and More
- Lake Bryn Mawr Camp
- Lochearn Camp for Girls
- Oasis Children's Services Summer Jobs
- Summer Opportunities for Undergraduate Minority Students
- YMCA of the Rockies
- YMCA of the Ozarks
Studying in another country is a fantastic way to change your perspective on the world. Your experience will allow you to interact with people of different cultures and help you develop self-confidence and independence. Graduate schools and employers alike will be attracted to your cross-cultural communication skills and your ability to adapt to change. Visit the Binghamton University Office of International Programs for more information.
Internships, study, work, or volunteer abroad are great ways to build your skills and enhance your resume. Start early in your search as the process is slowed by distance and red tape, but the rewards can definitely be worth the effort. For more information, visit the International Opportunities section of CDC's website.
Getting Involved on Campus
Participating in clubs and organizations on campus is another way to develop skills and enhance your resume. Sometimes your involvement could be directly related to a career, for example if you are interested in event planning you could serve as your sorority's social chair. Other activities may not be directly related, but may allow you to develop transferable skills (34.5 kb pdf) that employers/schools will find attractive. Regardless of the activity, it will demonstrate to an employer/graduate school that you did more during college than study.
Links for Campus Involvement:
- Student Association
- Fraternity & Sorority Life
- Campus Recreational Services
- Student Ambassador Program
- Residential Life
Harpur Fellows Program
The Harpur Fellows Program awards six undergraduate fellowships of up to $4,000 each to students in Harpur College. These competitive fellowships support self-designed, independent projects that allow the recipients to pursue a passionate interest that serves others and contributes to the well-being of the community. That interest may or may not be related to the student's academic program. The site of the projects can be anywhere—in the Binghamton community, in another city or part of the U.S., or abroad. To allow students to focus their attention on their project, they may not be enrolled in any academic program or for-credit internship during the duration of their fellowship. As a result, most students complete their projects over the summer or winter breaks, although they may decide to take a semester leave from the University to work on their projects. This is a wonderful opportunity for students to act on what's important to them, develop independence, and sharpen their problem-solving skills.
Job shadowing is a short-term experience that allows you to try out a career for a day. Shadowing can help you in the career decision-making process by helping you learn first-hand about an occupation and determine if the career is the right fit for you. You could job shadow anyone in a career of interest to you. You might want to start with a relative who works in an occupation you'd like to learn more about. You may also utilize LinkedIn to identify Binghamton alumni who work in fields of interest to you. Explain to the individual you'd like to job shadow that you are interested in learning more about his/her occupation and would like to spend a day with him/her at work to get a feel for the tasks and atmosphere of the job. Your goal is to get a sense of a typical day in the field and determine whether or not you could see yourself in a similar role. For tips on creating a successful LinkedIn profile and networking professionally, visit Creating and Leveraging Your LinkedIn Profile.
You've heard of taking a year off, but how about taking a year ON? There are many opportunities for you to grow and explore the world around you while still gaining valuable experience and contributing to society. These short-term opportunities may be just what you're looking for! Visit the Short-Term Opportunities section of our website for links to various term-of-service programs.
The website of the Career Development Center at Binghamton University contains links to other websites as a convenience for its users and is not responsible for the contents of any linked site.