Planning For College
Jobs, Internships, Community Service, and Caring
For colleges using a holistic approach to admissions (not just grades and test scores), work and community service can be important ways to bolster your application.
Paid Work Experience
Summers, weekends, or anytime, employment is considered a solid extracurricular activity. Employment shows you are dependable, hardworking, and independent. With many opportunities to work on campus, admission officers will know you’ll be a solid member of the community and fill needed roles. Work can take many forms: McDonald’s, babysitting, and lifeguarding are all great choices. It’s also a perfect way to save up money for college!
Unpaid Work Experience
From internships to caring for younger siblings, it is all important. While some may be able to access exciting internships, learners who take care of younger siblings, grandparents, or help family friends and neighbors are just as important, and their unpaid work will be seen with value. Learners who wish to step into more of a traditional internship experience will have to do a bit of work. Reach out to individuals who work in fields in which you may be interested, or speak with facilitators or professors to explore opportunities. Internships and networking are part of the process. In fact, you may be able to get a great recommendation letter for college if you do well in your internship.
Authentic community service that matters to you is what’s important. Look into your community and see what is needed, what is missing, and where you can help. Look to your place of worship, your local food banks, and your local political campaigns. What organizations or activities matter to you? You shouldn’t be thinking about what college admission officers want to see. You should be thinking about what is important to you.
In 2016, Harvard, along with a coalition of 50 colleges, created a guide to cultivating concern for others through the college admission process. Check out the summary for a better understanding of meaningful service:
In a second report, Harvard created a guide to services and caring for parents and schools. Parents, this guide can assist you in helping your college-bound learner reduce stress and encourage meaningful engagement during high school: