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Posted May 08, 2013 in Advice Column, West Des Moines

Summer is a perfect time for students to experience something new and add bulk to their post-secondary resumes. Students should not limit themselves to just one venture over the summer. Working a paid job, volunteering, attending camp, getting tutoring in tough subjects, job shadowing, practicing for the ACT, the list itself is limitless.

Working part time is a great way to earn and save money for college, but it is also a lesson in time management and responsibility. The “real world” experiences that come with a job can be critical for a student’s development: prioritizing duties, meeting supervisor’s expectations, being on time, working as part of a team, strengthening communication skills and advocating for oneself.

Volunteering is priceless. The old clichés are true — you get more than you give. Plus, colleges and employers love to see students who believe in volunteering and contribute positively to their communities. What do you love to do? What do you care about? Animal rescue agencies, nursing and retirement homes, day cares, small businesses, hospitals, children’s camps, farmers’ markets, mental health agencies and many more organizations provide incredible opportunities. Call one today.

If students already have strong interests in certain career areas, they should seek out opportunities related to those, whether that is a paid job, volunteering, job shadowing or attending a camp. If students do not have a strong sense of their passions, this is a wonderful chance to explore the world a bit. Get out there and discover something about who you are.

Information provided by Heather Isaacson, Director of Academic Planning and Mentoring, Home Remedies, 515-243-7810,

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