How a summer job can prepare you for university

Aiden Dufty


Leaving high school and starting university may feel scary and uncertain, but getting a summer job can help prepare you for the transition. Not only will a summer job help teach you valuable skills in order to better your academic and career goals, but it also provides you with a helpful source of income to help with the cost of tuition. So, run don't walk, to start applying after reading this blog!

nanami running


1. Responsibility

Transitioning from high school to university is a big change that comes with many new responsibilities. You'll have a lot of deadlines, exams, assignments and research to complete and be responsible for. A job is very similar in the sense that it's a significant change and you receive new responsibilities that you're likely unfamiliar with (at first). A job can help prepare you for this shift in responsibilities and help you learn to organize your time and efforts most efficiently.

nick from new girl saying he doesnt like responsibility

2. Consistency and routine

University likely has a different type of school schedule than what you're used to. It's not six-hour days, five days a week. In university, you decide what days you have classes (for the most part) and how many classes you take each term.

A job is similar; you choose your own hours and shifts to best suit your needs. This can prepare you for picking your own schedule and seeing what days work best for you and what course load is most manageable.

3. Learning new skills

Different jobs provide different skills—though, that may not be obvious at first. You may wonder how scooping ice cream for will provide you with valuable skills but, in reality, it helps improve your memory from memorizing the menu, enhances communication skills from interacting with customers and helps increase your problem solving because you have to support customers needs (and complaints).

cat typing

Skills come in all shapes and sizes, and you may not even realize that you're gaining them until afterward when you seem to be a pro at settling disputes. Some skills will be more open-ended and helpful while others may be more specific to certain fields. Either way, you'll likely find yourself using these skills in more than just your work life. 

4. Applying your knowledge

With a job, the skills you learn aren't just going to be stored in your head and never used like some of the stuff you've learnt in the past. Sure, learning advanced quadratics in high school was necessary but, as a criminology major, you'll never need that skill outside of high school.

Jobs are different, the skills you learn are not only applied every day in the workplace, but also externally in your everyday life. A personal example is that I used to be a server at a local restaurant, while it was a stressful job, it helped improve my communication skills and social anxiety greatly. 

joey from friends says he is more then a hat rack

A summer job will greatly help you prepare for university. Whether it helps financially or by providing you with a new set of skills to support you during your academic career, you will definitely be happy you chose to pursue a summer job. After you begin your studies, you can check out our University Works program to get a job through the school!

Want to learn more about employment at the University?

Visit our Student Awards and Financial Aid website


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