Summer plan options: Pros and cons

Manny Griffiths is a finance major preparing for his summer internship. Many students choose to do internships to help them find a job. (Maddi Driggs)

There’s no one-size-fits-all option when it comes to summer plans, as individual circumstances and priorities often dictate how students choose to spend their summer.

Students generally consider four main options when making their summer plans: an internship, spring/summer classes, study abroad and work.


Studies by the National Association of Colleges and Employers found that 60 percent of students with paid internships are offered full-time employment.

Junior Manny Griffiths has worked as a summer sales representative in the past, but is working as an intern for a private equity firm in Salt Lake City this summer.

“Everyone needs salesmen, but companies want work experience that is relatable to what you’ll be doing,” Griffiths said.

Exploratory internship advisor Jim Burton explained that BYU has a university internship office, and each department has an internship coordinator.

“I think the internship experience gives practical application of what you learn in the classroom,” Burton said.

Spring/summer class enrollment

Alex Fairchild decides to spend her summer studying for the advertising program. Many students choose to utilize the summer months to take classes during spring/summer term. (Paige Oliver)

University spokeswoman Carri Jenkins explained that students who sign up for classes during the spring/summer terms can knock out courses faster than if they were to take them in the fall or winter. This helps them speed their track to graduation.

“The fall and winter semesters include 14-week courses, while a spring or summer term course lasts only seven weeks,” Jenkins said. “In essence, students are doing all the work in half the time.”

Sophomore Alex Fairchild is signing up for classes this summer for that reason.

“I just wanted to get these classes done as quick as I could so I could keep moving forward in my program,” Fairchild said.

Jenkins explained other advantages include scholarship opportunities, smaller class sizes, and the option of on-campus employment, while one disadvantage is there isn’t as much going on as in Fall/Winter semesters.

Taylor Simas poses in Versailles, France while studying abroad in Europe. Students earn school credit while traveling the world. (Taylor Simas)

Study abroad

For some students, the world is their classroom as they embark on a study abroad. BYU has several study abroad programs at cheaper prices than most schools, according to Aaron Rose, an international study coordinator.

Rose said international experience gives students opportunities to see the world and learn other cultures while earning school credit.

“We see the international experience not just as a rich cultural experience, but something that is an investment into your future, career and for the rest of your life,” Rose said.

Rose said BYU offers a variety of scholarships and financial aid to help students concerned about the finances of traveling abroad.

“Saying you want to study abroad but don’t want to pay for it is like walking into an auto dealership wanting a car but not willing to pay for it,” Rose said. “Anything of value costs money.”

Sophomore Taylor Simas decided she would work and save money to help pay for her dream of going on a study abroad. Simas’ study abroad in London was an experience she will always value.

“It was the best experience of my life,” Simas said. “It’s different than just going to study in Provo. Being across the world makes it harder, but it helps you grow a lot and be more independent.”

Chris Bunker
A Vivint salesman goes door-to-door to make money during the summer season. Some students spend their summers working and saving money for the future. (Chris Bunker)


Some students utilize their summer break to work and save money. One of the more popular jobs at this time of year is summer sales, according to Cameron Kimball, a manager for Vivint.

Kimball said summer sales is all about efficiency in making money.

“Summer sales is a good option for students who want to make a lot of money in a short amount of time and focus on school for the rest of the year,” Kimball said.

Kimball said every scenario is different. He explained that some careers may require internship experience, and working in the summer might not be beneficial.

“It’s not about how much money you make, it’s about what’s best for your future,” Kimball said.

University perspective

Career Services Director Jodi Chowen said she encourages students to try something new and take opportunities that will help them make decisions about the future.

“It’s a critical time in your life to be careful with your time,” Chowen said. “All four of these things give you experience and increase your vantage point.”

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