Summer plans fell through, seeking advice

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TopHatFox
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Location: FL; 25

Summer plans fell through, seeking advice

Post by TopHatFox »

The Initial Plan:

I had applied for two Research Experience for Undergraduates at two organizations. As it turns out, one had a less than 10% acceptance rate, and rejected my application. The second has yet to even confirm my application submission and has yet to respond to my e-mails, website comments, or phone calls.

Part of the reason why I only applied for two REUs is because I thought they were reasonably easy to obtain. I wish my adviser had told me that they were in fact highly sought after, or that I was wise enough to look that fact up. It would've been useful information, but I did not have it, and that's that. Out of my control.

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Desires for the Summer:

I'd like to:

1. Do something I like that occupies my time: nature, science, adventure, leisure, traveling, etc.
2. Get paid: the internships above would've paid $5k a summer + free room & board. That's hard to beat. I'm stumped on this end.
3. See my partner: long distance relationship during the year, so we'd like to see each other for the summer; she's free for the summer.
4. Resume Build: Not that big a factor since I will have other experiences I can leverage by studying away next year

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The New Plan:

Unfortunately, it's late in the internship application season, so the new plan is a work in progress.

I was thinking of applying for a scholarship my college offers--due in one week--while concurrently finding a compatible summer internship for that scholarship. Maybe working at a local WOOFing site could be a thing.

It's either that or just sit on my bum and burn some of the resources I've saved up...I'd like to find a way to make 3-5k a summer without having to work for someone else, and while doing something I like. Or maybe go on a self-driven adventure.

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General Thoughts:

I'm saturated with applying to things by now. I just finished applying to study away applications, financial aid applications, and the REU apps, while in a full semester of college. The last thing I want to do is apply to scholarships or more summer internships.

I can only imagine what it's like applying to jobs or graduate school. Mainstream life paths like college or working a full time job tend to be stressful, overwhelming, and even abusive in my opinion. Imagine if all I had to do to enjoy a summer was buy or borrow some equipment on Craigslist and hike the Appalachian trail. Wow! (Of course, such a plan would mean opportunity cost of capital, which I am trying to accumulate at the moment, which likely requires being a part of a mainstream life path).

Again, I wonder if there's any way to accumulate capital that does not require a summer job or internship. If there is, I unfortunately don't yet know what it is, but I'd like to.
Last edited by TopHatFox on Wed Mar 25, 2015 6:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Scott 2
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Re: Summer plans fell through, seeking advice

Post by Scott 2 »

Build around #3, IMO. Take advantage of your youth, leave career and money as secondary.

Wherever #3 puts you, there are internships or work. As long as you do something, it doesn't really matter what you actually do.

tzxn3
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Re: Summer plans fell through, seeking advice

Post by tzxn3 »

Zalo wrote:Again, I wonder if there's any way to accumulate capital that does not require a summer job or internship.
Odd jobs, freelancing?

Writing about your experiences seems to come naturally to you, so perhaps start a blog and publish an ebook?

Chad
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Re: Summer plans fell through, seeking advice

Post by Chad »

Well, you just learned a valuable lesson. You care more about you than anyone else. Your adviser just wants to get through the couple classes he/she teaches and the 20 or so students they advise, and go home. They also forget what their advisees' don't know. I have found that preparing a list of questions before discussing stuff like this with an official adviser in is the way to go. It also helps to outline your main goals with the adviser early on in the relationship and then continue to reference them. This helps to focus the adviser and remind them of their job.

If it were me, I would tie #3 in with creating something. My choice would be to write a book, blog, or build an App for something, but obviously this is personal preference. The final product doesn't have to be an unmitigated success. Even a very small success with some type of project would look good on the resume and might give you another revenue stream.

Here is a typical listing of ways to make money on the internet. These aren't all great and the list isn't by any means all inclusive, but it's a start:

http://lewishowes.com/entrepreneur/10-w ... ey-online/

Gilberto de Piento
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Re: Summer plans fell through, seeking advice

Post by Gilberto de Piento »

Sorry your plans fell through. I agree with Chad that your adviser isn't going to look out for you. It sucks but you have to look out for yourself and learn how to ask the right questions. It took me a long time to figure this out.

I like internet businesses but I want to warn you that you shouldn't expect to make much if any money in just a few months. Even if you do everything right it takes time to get going. If you research internet business it will seem like quick, easy money. Don't believe the hype. I don't think you can find a source of info about internet business that isn't intended to get you to eventually buy training, software, get you to click on their ads, etc.

An internet business will look better on a resume than doing nothing but if you say you were blogging for the summer I don't think employers will think much of it. If you end up with no job at all I suggest long term travel. It's hard to do later. You could combine this with blogging if you wanted as it would give you something to write about.

Chad
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Re: Summer plans fell through, seeking advice

Post by Chad »

Gilberto de Piento wrote: An internet business will look better on a resume than doing nothing but if you say you were blogging for the summer I don't think employers will think much of it.
Absolutely, that's why if it is a blog you don't tell the employer you "blogged," you say, "I created a small business based on the dissemination of information that I monetized by selling advertising." :D

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jennypenny
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Re: Summer plans fell through, seeking advice

Post by jennypenny »

Why don't you just get a regular job for some guaranteed cash and some work experience? You could try and get one that would teach you something. Our CSA is hiring farmhands, and a job like that would teach some useful skills. Or you could work in a kitchen. I learned most of what I know about cooking from working in a Mennonite kitchen. Even a job as a day laborer in construction would teach you something. You'd only do the grunt work, but you'd learn what the tools were for and at least get to watch some construction. Doesn't your college, or maybe UMass, have summer jobs available?

Another option is mission-type work overseas, but I'm not sure if you're too late for that for this summer.

Gilberto de Piento
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Re: Summer plans fell through, seeking advice

Post by Gilberto de Piento »

Absolutely, that's why if it is a blog you don't tell the employer you "blogged," you say, "I created a small business based on the dissemination of information that I monetized by selling advertising." :D
Don't forget to leverage thought leaders.

Dragline
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Re: Summer plans fell through, seeking advice

Post by Dragline »

Yeah, I mostly chased after whomever I was dating on those summers. (#3)

Other than waiting tables, most of the jobs I found quickly were through temp agencies. I'm not sure its still true, but if you went to a temp agency then and said you were willing to do whatever, they'd put you somewhere fairly quickly. Mind you, these were manual labor type jobs and would not be something you wanted long term. One of my favorites was working at a milk factory and getting to fill those giant plastic bags of milk they use in cafeterias. Sacking flour -- not so great.

I also spent one summer going door-to-door raising money for various causes. I'm not sure anyone does that anymore in the age of the internet. It should was an education, though.

There is some value to just working, living small and being close to someone you care about, at least for a time when you are young. Just stay out of debt and work on your plans for next years application cycle.

Chad
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Re: Summer plans fell through, seeking advice

Post by Chad »

jennypenny wrote:Doesn't your college, or maybe UMass, have summer jobs available?
I did this most of summers during college. Best job I ever had was working for my hometown's recreational department. The position was partially paid through a college. I basically maintained all the athletic fields and ran all the programs/sports leagues. Of course, I had teams in all the adult leagues!

TopHatFox
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Re: Summer plans fell through, seeking advice

Post by TopHatFox »

Long term travel from June to mid-August sounds like a very worthwhile and meaningful way to spend time with my partner. I think I would take this route if the non-responsive REU declines my application, since I'd still get to see my partner at this particular REU--while making 5k and enjoying weekend adventure trips.

Anyway, we were thinking of cycling through all of the trails and campsites in Minnesota. Minnesota seems like a convenient place to travel through since it's the state where she lives, it's a big state, and we'd only have to ship my bike & person. Alternatively, we could cycle through Massachusetts or New England, since we're both going to be in New England for her job & my study away site.

Do ya'll have any tips for planning a two and a half month, ERE-style travelling cycling adventure? We both have bicycles with racks and panniers from our cycling internship last summer. I imagine we could borrow camping equipment from my college's outing club or her parents. We could buy food from local groceries and carry things that don't spoil often. We could use a two person tent to sleep in. I'm excited!

Gilberto de Piento
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Re: Summer plans fell through, seeking advice

Post by Gilberto de Piento »

Riding in Minnesota sounds like a good idea. There are lots more tour ideas here: https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?doctype=journal I think northern Minnesota to northern Wisconsin to Michigan UP would be also great in the summer. Lake Superior and the Apostle Islands are nice.

This site is good for finding friendly, free places to stay if you need something between campground: https://www.warmshowers.org/

Tips: stay relatively light but bring everything you're going to need, learn a little about how to fix a bike, make sure your bike is in good shape, have plenty of time so you don't feel rushed. Be ready for it to suck the first day or two as you get used to it. Ride you bike loaded a few times before you set off so you know what works and doesn't. Go on at least a couple of long rides (however long you plan to ride in a given day on your trip) so you have some fitness. Be considerate of your riding partner. Bring rain and cold weather gear so you are ready for any weather. ERE tip: gas station food is convenient but expensive and trashy so try to avoid it. Have fun!

theanimal
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Re: Summer plans fell through, seeking advice

Post by theanimal »

Another cycling map that may be of use for ideas:http://www.adventurecycling.org/routes- ... twork-map/

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