How Students Can Use Summer to Set Themselves Apart: Student Launch Pad Offers Tip Sheet

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Colleges and employers are interested in more than grades or test scores. Student Launch Pad offers a tip sheet about how the students who view summer as an opportunity to develop their strengths and hone their career interests give themselves a competitive advantage.

Students can intentionally use the summer to develop themselves and explore their various career interests. They should ask: What story will my summer tell to future interviewers or college admissions?

Though students are counting down until summer break, they may want to think twice before coasting through the summer months. Student Launch Pad has found that the students who view summer as an opportunity to develop their strengths and hone their career interests give themselves a competitive advantage. Colleges and employers are interested in more than grades or test scores. They want to see how students intentionally find ways to develop and learn through unique experiences.

Many companies are already in the process of interviewing and hiring for their summer internship programs. In fact, the National Association of Colleges and Employers found that 52 percent of college graduates who received job offers before graduation held an internship. Even for students in high school, summer internships – whether paid or unpaid – and job shadowing are key ways to gain insights into career fields and start networking for other internships or jobs in the future.

Student Launch Pad’s founder, Stephanie Shackelford, says, “Students can intentionally use the summer to develop themselves and explore their various career interests. They should ask: What story will my summer tell to future interviewers or college admissions? Make this summer count.”

Through coaching hundreds of students on gaining acceptance to their dream college, choosing their best major, and determining their ideal career, Student Launch Pad has found four main ways that students make the most of their summers:

1. Apply for a summer job or internship. Even if the job is not related to a student's career interests, the experience is invaluable.

2. Put strengths to work in creative ways, such as guest blogging or building websites.

3. Give back. Volunteering is an obvious example of this, but non-profits and startups often welcome students who can contribute to meaningful projects.

4. Spend time in diverse work environments, such as through job shadowing or informational interviews.

To help students take advantage of the summer months, Student Launch Pad has recently partnered with Dale Carnegie of Georgia to offer a College Prep and Leadership Summer Camp. This five-day camp combines the proven Dale Carnegie training with Student Launch Pad's college preparation and application, major selection, and career guidance program. Through the camp, students understand their top strengths and skills, building self-confidence and leadership abilities. They enhance their communication skills, learning how to present themselves naturally and easily in an interview and write a resume that will get them noticed for summer internships and jobs. Ultimately, students gain a competitive advantage by developing their strengths and honing their career interests, while setting themselves up for success in the future.

When students spend the summer intentionally, it provides opportunities to set themselves apart from their peers. The key is to seek out and take advantage of unique learning experiences.

ABOUT STUDENT LAUNCH PAD
Student Launch Pad coaches high school and early college students to make the best decisions for their future based on the intersection of their strengths and passions. Through our one-on-one or online coaching programs, students are accepted to their dream colleges, choose their best major, and find their ideal careers. Student Launch Pad’s sister company, Career Flight Plan, offers career coaching for college seniors, recent graduates, and working professionals. Through one-on-one coaching programs, clients develop a flight plan to navigate their best possible career future.

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Stephanie Shackelford
@StdntLaunchPad
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since: 11/2012
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