How Business Students Should Spend Their Summers

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Summer isn’t just for fun. It’s an opportunity to make yourself more marketable to employers and grad schools. Even if you’re fairly confident with your job prospects, consider that every other business student is actively looking for career-boosting summer plans. You don’t want to be the one with a sparse resume.

On top of that, a three-month vacation is an opportunity you probably won’t have after you graduate. When you’re applying for real jobs, the opportunities that these summers offer – like internship mentoring, professors who might feel inclined (obligated) to hire students with no experience, and opportunities to learn languages – will have long since disappeared.

We’re getting close to the end of summer right now, and it’s actually the perfect time to start preparing for next year. Applications will be opening soon, the professors you need rec letters from are worth getting to know right now, and if you decide to go abroad, you’ll want to research programs and locations sooner rather than later. It would be a shame to realize in January that your ideal summer plans had a surprise November deadline.

Here are some summer options that business majors should consider:

Business Internship

Adrianna Kelsey interned at Deloitte
Adrianna Kelsey interned at Deloitte

The ideal situation is, of course, to work a summer internship – preferably with a company of some repute.

Good internships can be a great way to get industry experience and work references. Additionally, this opportunity to test yourself in the field can help you direct the remaining years of your education. For example, you may learn that business is not the field for you after all, or you might find that you love a particular aspect of business and can cater your classes and extracurriculars accordingly.

Adrianna Kelsey interned at Deloitte in Dallas, Texas, this summer. She’s a rising fourth year in a five-year BA and master’s in accounting program at the University of Texas at Austin and says that the internship was part of her decision to get a master’s.

Kelsey’s internship was in advisory and audit, and her team consisted of two first years, a senior, and a senior manager. She says her job was primarily to complete tasks for the senior. “I was mainly doing tie outs and making sure that the numbers were matching the financial statements and things like that.”

Kelsey had two clients, both with sites about 45 minutes away, and she would drive to them every Monday through Thursday. On Fridays she would go to the Deloitte office where she’d mingle with other interns.

“I didn’t work with any other interns, but there were intern activities, like baseball games, where I was able to meet up with them. And there was also an intern conference where we all got together,” she says.

Though she studied accounting in school, most of the work she did over the summer was new, making the internship was an excellent learning experience. “I had never been introduced to advisory before, which was why I was interested in trying it out. I learned a lot of stuff on the job, and after the first week, I had it down. In audit, it was a different case because I’d seen some of the stuff in school. Still though, there was a lot that I hadn’t seen yet,” she says.

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