Sunday, October 16, 2011

Summer Job?

Students often ask me: "what should I do this summer?" They worry that whatever they do will not look as good as what other applicants are doing. My experience is that colleges want you to do something over the summer besides sit by the pool, but colleges don't rank volunteer work over paid work, or overseas travel over a college course.

A Boston Globe article confirms this. Here's some advice from college admissions reps about summer jobs.
"Only about a quarter of Tufts applicants these days have ever held down a steady job, estimates Lee Coffin, dean of undergraduate admissions. Work experience is scarce even among students from middle- and lower-income backgrounds, he said.

"When we read an [application] folder with work experience we usually comment on it in a very favorable way. If he works 20 hours a week at Stop & Shop, we'll say, 'That's really refreshing and old-fashioned. Good for him.' "

The most important thing is that teenagers do something productive and meaningful, admissions officers said. But they do not give as much credit to a fancy summer activity if it seems more like padding than passion. And in an age of high anxiety over competition to get into college, that is more and more common.

"We see essays that say 'I spent two weeks in a Chinese orphanage and it changed my life,' " said Debra Shaver , director of admission at Smith College. "But where is the pattern showing interest in community service?"

Summer travel and study can make students more worldly or civic-minded, but often fail to teach how to persevere through boredom, take orders, or work with people from different backgrounds, admissions deans say.
links verified 4/2013

No comments:

Post a Comment