Given Penn’s pre-professional atmosphere, you’d be hard-pressed to find a student not doing an internship, research or some other type of resume-boosting activity over the summer.
However, some students are doing jobs unrelated to their field of study.
Engineering freshman Petra Robertson will have two jobs this summer.
“My main job this summer is just working at the summer camp that my high school has,” she said. “So I’m working with kids age three to six, and it’s just a regular day camp of various activities.”
Robertson will be working as a camp counselor for eight weeks, during the months of June and July. When she returns home in May, she will start her weekend shifts working her second job at an Italian ice shop.
“I just think that especially since it’s the summer after my freshman year, I don’t really feel that much pressure to be doing anything that’s going to bulk my resume,” she said. “Especially since I did a lot of school work during the year, and I don’t really feel like doing more work over the summer.”
Wharton freshman Jill Rosenthal will also be spending her summer working as a camp counselor.
“I am working at a summer camp that I actually went to since I was seven,” she said. “This summer I will be a swim counselor.”
Rosenthal, who loved being a camper for nine summers, is excited to come back to work as a counselor. She will be at the camp for the majority of her summer.
“The camp lasts seven weeks, but I have orientation and cleanup, so I’ll probably be there for 10 weeks total,” she said.
Rosenthal knew she wanted to spend the summer after her freshman year as a camp counselor, though she won’t return next year.
“I think for next summer I’ll have to be doing something more focused,” she said.
College freshman Levi Cooper will also be working at a summer camp, but one in a rural part of North Carolina.
“I’m working teaching boys from age six to 16 how to sail,” he said.
Cooper will use his sailing experience to teach the kids during the summer.
“These kids basically come in with no sailing knowledge whatsoever, and I teach them how to sail basically from day one. So there are instructors who teach kids the basics, the fundamentals of sailing, nomenclature of the boat, how to handle themselves in the water, how to steer, all that kind of stuff,” he said.
Cooper did not choose this summer job as a resume-booster. Instead, he wanted to do something fun that he was passionate about.
“I chose to do it because it’s something I really, really enjoy, not something that I think will make me happy in the future,” he said.
“I feel like Penn is pretty competitive in that way,” he added. “And I think freshman year, at least the summer, is your last chance to live a little. Do what you like to do.”
Nursing freshman Jessie Korducki knows that she will be spending the next several years of her life deeply involved in medical training and research for nursing, so she decided to do a different kind of job this summer. She will be working in a nursing home as a Certified Nurse Assistant.
Instead of more medical training and research, she will be assisting the elderly.
“This summer I think it’s important for me to go back home to Wisconsin, especially since in the future, it will probably be more beneficial to do something like an internship or research,” Korducki said.
While several freshmen have the relaxed mindset that Robertson, Rosenthal, Cooper and Korducki share, many students feel pressured to work or conduct research over the summer. However, Wharton sophomore Victoria Yuan did not feel pressured to take on an internship her freshman summer and was still able to secure an internship for her sophomore summer.
“Last summer, I went back home and worked at my local public library,” Yuan said. “I really got a lot out of it because I built great relationships and was able to strengthen my interpersonal skills, which I think helped me land my internship for this upcoming summer.”
Yuan is excited about her upcoming internship.
“I was fortunate enough to land an internship at Capital One in product management, which I’m thrilled about,” she said. “And even though I didn’t have that professional internship last summer, all of my doors were kept open for sophomore year.”