3 Tips for Making the Most of Your Summer Job or Internship

Have a summer job or internship? Here are three tips that can help you make the most of it.

Stocksy txpf8f98cd2jui300 Medium 3831813

Summer jobs and internships are the perfect way to gain work experience, develop new skills, and earn money. Not to mention — these opportunities give you a chance to learn more about what types of work you're interested in.

Whether you're working as a lifeguard, camp counselor, or intern at a company, summer jobs can have a lasting impact on both your personal and professional growth. Let’s explore three tips that can help you make the most of your busy summer season.

Tip #1: Grow Your Network

As tempting as it may be to clock in and clock out, don’t sleep on getting involved at work. Take the initiative to connect with your coworkers and other professionals that you meet along the way. Building relationships with individuals outside of your school environment can provide you with invaluable connections that can potentially help you find your next role or provide you with references for other job opportunities. You may even build a relationship with a mentor who can help guide you during your future career.

To help build your network, go the extra mile and attend company events or after-work activities. Is there an after-work softball game going on? Are a few coworkers getting together for dinner after work ends? Join them!
These connections can open doors to new opportunities and help you grow both personally and professionally.

Tip #2: Explore Your Interests

Use your summer job or internship as a stepping stone to explore different career paths and discover your passions. Pay attention to the aspects of your job that you enjoy the most and consider how they align with your long-term career goals.

For example, if you find joy in working with kids, you might enjoy a potential career path in education or child development. If you excel in customer service, you may consider pursuing a career in sales or hospitality. Reflect on your experiences and consider how they can shape your future career choices.

As you take note of what you like to do at work, consider writing some of these job responsibilities or related accomplishments down in a journal or resume. Having a record of your work experiences may come in handy when you're applying to other summer jobs, college, or even scholarships.

Tip #3: Maximize Your Savings

Your summer job may be temporary, but the cash you earn doesn’t have to be if you’re smart about what you do with your earnings.

First, consider sending a percentage of your paycheck to savings every month. The exact amount you should save will depend on what your financial goals are. Remember, with Step, you can create goals for all of your wants and needs and track your progress along the way.

Second, ask your employer if you can set up direct deposit instead of receiving a paper check. Sending your paycheck directly to an FDIC-insured account can help you resist the urge to spend it all as soon you as you get paid.

Plus, if you set up a monthly direct deposit of $500 or more to your Step Account, you can earn 5.00%1 on savings balances up to $250,000 and up to 3x points2 on your purchases! Since there are no savings fees, this is a great way to make even more money this summer.

Done right, your summer job can lead to new friends, new career possibilities, and a step toward long-term financial security.

Choose a topic