Undergrad work/volunteering

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brobar
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Oct 09, 2011 2:39 pm

Undergrad work/volunteering

Postby brobar » Fri Nov 30, 2012 1:44 pm

Any advice on where I should work or volunteer during my undergrad? I'm going back to school next Fall to complete my computer science degree. I'll have about 2 1/2 - 3 years to complete my degree. I'll have the luxury of not having to work (I put my wife through pharmacy school and now she is putting me through law school)... which is a great luxury to have and will allow me to truly devote myself to my schoolwork. I've got lots of life/work experience with 6 years in the Armed Forces as well as 9 years (will be 10 come next Fall) of web applications engineering work for two different companies. I don't have much, if any, volunteer work (since we have both been so busy, we tend to donate money instead of time), though I'm willing to change that.

Any advice on if I should work or volunteer or both during my undergrad? And if so... examples of where?

Thanks kindly!

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ph14
Posts: 3224
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:15 pm

Re: Undergrad work/volunteering

Postby ph14 » Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:08 pm

brobar wrote:Any advice on where I should work or volunteer during my undergrad? I'm going back to school next Fall to complete my computer science degree. I'll have about 2 1/2 - 3 years to complete my degree. I'll have the luxury of not having to work (I put my wife through pharmacy school and now she is putting me through law school)... which is a great luxury to have and will allow me to truly devote myself to my schoolwork. I've got lots of life/work experience with 6 years in the Armed Forces as well as 9 years (will be 10 come next Fall) of web applications engineering work for two different companies. I don't have much, if any, volunteer work (since we have both been so busy, we tend to donate money instead of time), though I'm willing to change that.

Any advice on if I should work or volunteer or both during my undergrad? And if so... examples of where?

Thanks kindly!


First, thank you for your service. As to where you should intern, it doesn't really matter. Pick something that interests you. It's not really going to make a difference, especially since you already have lots of work experience. You can't go wrong with something community oriented or in the public interest. Don't feel obligated to do something law related, although you should feel free to intern at a law firm or something. If there is a particular area of law you are interested in (sounds like you might be interested in something IP-oriented), you might consider trying to volunteer/intern/work with an organization in this field, to network and get experience. It might also help during interviews as a demonstration of commitment to the field and will give you material to talk about.

brobar
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Oct 09, 2011 2:39 pm

Re: Undergrad work/volunteering

Postby brobar » Fri Nov 30, 2012 5:36 pm

Thanks for the response. You are correct... with my background and experience, I'm hoping to focus on IP. I just heard that they are putting in a U.S. Patent and Trademark office here soon. It would be awesome to intern there if I could possibly swing it, though I'm sure those intern positions will be extremely competitive and hard to come by. There are plenty of software and development companies in the area where I could work part time or intern. However, with dozens of years of IT under my belt (I did web development and database engineering my last three years in the Air Force), I was wondering if shaking it up and adding something else to the resume might be a good way to go.

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sabanist
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Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2012 12:48 pm

Re: Undergrad work/volunteering

Postby sabanist » Fri Nov 30, 2012 6:04 pm

I think adcomms will be much more impressed with your military service than my summer of disaster relief when it comes to volunteering in the sense of giving back to the community. You have no worries there. Do what you want with your spare time, because your resume doesn't need padding.

ph14 has good advice, and all I really had to add was the possibility of doing an internship for course credit toward your degree so that you don't get overwhelmed trying to balance internship hours with a full academic schedule as well.




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