/ Asked by Tesha
I got a part-time job this summer. I know internships are better, but what could I do to maximize my job this summer to help me prepare for a job when I graduate?
Answered by Charlene, Hiring Expert at Gap Inc., on Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Congratulations on getting a job for the summer!  There are a few things that you will be practicing and developing that will absolutely translate into any position after graduation.  One skill to consider is verbal and written communication skills.  Are you working with customers? Are you attending meetings and presenting? Are you writing email?  Time Managerment is another skill you will be developing.  Are you on time? Are you meeting deadlines? Are you able to juggle other commitments with the new job?  Problem solving and conflict resolution could be other skills you are exposed to and can practice in this summer job. One additional thing that you will be developing is confidence!  The more you learn and the more you take initiative in this summer job, the more likely you will be able to go into any interview and feel as though your experience is relevant and that you can do the job and deserve the opportunity!  Every thing you do at your summer job will be preparing you for your next step in your career. As you go through your day look at each activity you are performing and make the most out of the opportunity to grow and develop that skill.  Have a great summer and everyday show up as your very best self and you will come out a winner!
Answered by Ashley, Hiring Expert at Cardinal Health, on Wednesday, April 22, 2015
While an internship would be ideal, it’s great that you have secured a job and have something to include on your resume. You can learn valuable skills through a part-time job that can translate well into a full-time career. Some of the skills you can develop and highlight on your resume could include communication skills, working with diverse groups of people, customer service, multi-tasking, training, finding ways to go above and beyond your day to day job responsibilities, etc. If there is a way for you to take on a project or additional job responsibilities that could relate to your major, I would recommend that. For example, if you’re a Finance major, find ways to potentially take on responsibilities with money, Excel or other relatable skills.
Answered by Rachel, Hiring Expert at Eaton, on Thursday, April 23, 2015
It is not just about having an internship, the point of doing an internship is to have practical job knowledge.  Whatever you are doing in your summer job focus on a couple of areas: (1) What are you learning? (2) How can you apply this to your academic life? (3) How will these skills apply to your future career path - if you don't know what you are planning on career-wise take this time to think about it. (4) What leadership opportunities are present? (take advantage of them).

The more that you look at this as an opportunity to learn about yourself and gain experience the better.  If you are later in your academic career and closer to graduation it will be very important to have industry specific experience to make sure that you are able to effectively compete in your selected career arena. 
Answered by Tara, Hiring Expert at Archer Daniels Midland, on Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Don't allow yourself to focus so much on the label of "internship" or "part-time job" rather than the content and quality of the work you will be doing. Stay engaged in what the business is doing and work with your supervisor to discuss where you could add value by working on any side projects. If the company you're working with is public, listen to their quarterly reports and understand where the business is financially. Quarterly reports are a great way to understand where the company has been and where it wants to be in the future. Also, don't hesitate to talk with your peers about what they are doing this summer! They may be working on projects that you could discuss with your supervisor as well. What's really the most important part before starting your summer work is asking yourself (and it usually helps to write it down too): "What are the 3 things I want to get out of this experience?" Once you've written this down, you should be checking back to it all summer to ensure that what you are doing in your day to day is bringing you a step closer to your objectives! Best of luck to you!!
Answered by Siobhan, Hiring Expert at Accenture, on Monday, June 1, 2015
Working through the summer, whether at an internship or a part-time job, shows initiative and is always recognized by employers during a full time job search. During the summer, try and make the most of each opportunity that is available to you – remember that each opportunity is a learning experience! Also, find innovate ways to contribute to the company that are over and above your job description. Use the part-time job through the summer as a “trial run” for a full-time job when you graduate; be as professional and personable as possible, be on-time, and always deliver on your promises. These are skills that will help you as you begin and advance in your career, no matter what the role.

Best of luck and enjoy your summer! - Raashi, Accenture campus recruiter
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