Although it is only February, it is already time to start thinking about summer! As a student, summer is the time not only to relax and enjoy a break from school, but also to participate in unique opportunities, create projects about your specific interest, and build your resume. Summer is the time to explore your passions and figure out what path you want your life to take; from volunteering to internships to jobs, there are countless opportunities encompassing a nearly endless variety of fields and ideas.
Ummara Khan, a sophomore at Richard Montgomery High School, explained, “Over the summer I got an apprenticeship with KID Museum. I heard about it through my science teacher and honestly it was such an awesome experience. I got to engage with young kids and further my interests in science without the restrictions of a classroom environment.” The summer is an ideal time for taking part in unique experiences in a different setting than we spend most of our time in.
Personally, I worked as an apprentice for the Levine Summer Camp of Music and Arts and got the chance to interact with children of all ages while teaching my favorite subjects: music and art. I learned that I love working with kids and the three-week long summer program allowed me to consider teaching as a possible career path, something that I never would have thought of before.
“These things help you find what you are good at and what you are interested in. Stay committed to the internships or volunteer positions if you find something you enjoy!” Khan recommended. Committing to a defined range of subjects and experiences shows dedication and a clear set of goals, which are extremely important when applying for college.
Furthermore, many summer programs have an ‘early bird special’ which involves either a smaller pool of candidates (and a higher chance of acceptance) or a lowered fee. The CBL International and Oxford Law School has a summer program which offers tutorials and seminars for high school students by combining business, law and economics. It offers an early bird discount for any student who signs up three months before the program start day in June. Overall, the application process can be long and tedious and the deadlines are coming up soon.
In addition to these niche programs, it’s also worth a shot to apply for the well-known and “big name” internships. These internships, however, often require a detailed and lengthy application. An example of one within the STEM field is the NIH Summer Internship Program. The deadline for the application is March 1st, and the application requires a formal resume, 2 letters of recommendations, official transcripts or report cards, and a cover letter. It is also highly recommended that you contact researches personally through email in order to demonstrate genuine interest.
Summer is the time for self-discovery and a chance to fuel a personal passion that may not be math, science or English and it’s the time to step outside of your comfort zone. Even if you are a freshman, it can be time to start expanding on your experiences in preparation for the long future ahead. If you happen to discover something you love early on, you’ll have a much easier time choosing other classes and programs in the following years.
Article by MoCo Student staff writer Valerie Wang of Richard Montgomery High School