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Making the Most of a Summer Without an Internship

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Summer classes have started, and it’s too late to find an internship. Summers are great résumé-building opportunities, so if you’re finding yourself with some free time, don’t let it go to waste! There are many ways you can spend your summer that will look great for future internship and job interviews.

Find a Part-Time Job

Instant experience for your résumé, a part time job is an excellent way to spend your summer vacation. Think about how a part-time job can apply to your major: For example, if you’re a marketing major, a retail job would be great experience seeing how products are sold to customers. You can also consider tutoring jobs or starting your own business, such as a pet sitting or lawn mowing.

Teach Yourself to Program

I have written before that I believe everyone should take at least one programming course while a university student. No matter your field of study, programming experience will help you. There are plenty of free online resources to help you learn to code. My personal favorite is My coworkers and I use SQL very often to gather data from our clients, so I always recommend a SQL course. Java or Python are also common introductory languages.

Volunteer Your Time

Find a local cause that you care about, and volunteer there. You can probably volunteer those business skills you have been working on, and apply those skills to real scenarios.

Seek Job-Shadowing Opportunities

Consider asking your parents or other “adults” you know if there are any job-shadowing opportunities at their work. See if you can arrange a chance to follow someone around for a day or week, and learn what their job is like. Exposure to professional settings will give you a better idea of what to expect when you are ready for an internship, and could possibly open you up to new career paths.


If you have the resources and time, consider spending your summer traveling. Especially since you will not have this much free time once you start a full-time position, you should take the opportunity to see new places while you can. You don’t need to travel abroad either — consider a road trip to nearby states, or visiting friends or relatives across the United States. Travel opens you up to new cultures and experiences, and helps you to become a more global individual.

Even if you did not decide to take summer classes or do an internship, there are still many productive ways that you can spend your time. Build up your skills, and you will be ready to take on the fall with confidence.

Michelle Abuda

J. Michelle Abuda earned her BS in Management Information Systems and MS in Business Analytics from the Naveen Jindal School of Management. Currently, she works at Crowe Horwath as a Regulatory Compliance Risk Consultant in the Columbus, Ohio office. During her time at JSOM, she was actively involved as a leader on the Dean's Council. She helped found the JSOM Book Club, as well as the TEDxUTD Club. Read more articles

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