The Best Summer Jobs That Aren’t Internships

Company spotlight event held at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management. Courtesy photo


If working inside an organization is more of a student’s focus and their hearts are set on a traditional internship, all of the career services professionals who spoke to Poets&Quants agree that summer opportunities are still very much available.

According to Sorenson-Wagner, Carlson currently has close to 200 internships in its jobs database. “A lot of companies are still looking,” he confirms. “Not a lot of them are Fortune 500 companies, which is fine, because not everyone is looking for that.”

Not only this, but for many industries and companies, scouting for summer interns is actually just getting started. McDonough’s Cassidy elaborates, “We’re kind of in this lull right now because fall was all finance and consulting. In January and February, we saw bigger companies across all industries. Late February through March there is a lull then in late March and April it will spike again for smaller companies and those not oriented around an academic calendar.”

For career services workers, what Cassidy describes is known as “just-in-time hiring.” Vogel at UNC says, “You have tons of startups and boutique firms that are sophisticated, but maybe they don’t have a dedicated HR function. You may see these just-in-time opportunities arise when someone resigns or it may occur to them in late spring that they need summer help.”

Every industry is different and every company is different. To this end, career services pros say now is the time to start exploring and pursuing if students haven’t already. In addition to exploring the jobs database, students can get advising help on everything from self-assessments to help them identify their passions to interview readiness to tips and tricks for keeping track of their outreach and contacts with a company.

“It’s like a class,” Kibbe says. “To do it well, they have to reserve time every week, take advantage of resources, and use multiple resources. There are lots and lots of opportunities, they just have to take time and initiative to jump in and do it.”


Still, career service professionals offer up a few backdoor methods to gaining access to a company or industry a student desires to pursue.

There’s always the tried and true, ever-valuable method of networking. Whether it’s through family and friends or navigating the school’s alumni network, Vogel says to “use your affiliates to your benefit.”

“Establish a relationship then attempt to pivot that into them supporting you by sharing their resume with their HR department,” he continues.

And a final approach for students is to exercise creativity by proactively pitching a company on a position that may not yet exist. “Reach out to a company you’re interested in and introduce yourself to them. Find a need that you can fulfill and pitch it to them,” Kibbe says. “We’re teaching them how to fish. This can be tough for students to pull off, but it can bode well for them.”


Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.