Image of a woman reading on the grassSummer may be a time for relaxing, but it also offers opportunities to think about, research and plan for your career development. Check out ways you can start advancing your career this summer.

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Make the Most of Your Summer

Jul 12, 2018

It may be easy to think of summer as a time to take a break and relax. But while you're relaxing, you can also use this time to plan for your future, including researching and considering career and internship opportunities or gearing up for your transition to college.

Image of a woman sitting on grass and readingCareer exploration and training

One popular summer activity for current students and recent graduates is participating in an internship. Internships are usually short-term work opportunities that allow you to get experience in a career that interests you or to explore different fields as you consider your career options. They may be paid or unpaid and often allow you to network with other staff and interns at the organization and build skills to advance in your career.

Another option is an apprenticeship. Apprenticeships are paid positions that focus on training individuals for a trade or profession with instruction, training and job shadowing where you take on progressively greater on-the-job responsibilities. Unlike internships, apprenticeships are typically longer programs, lasting anywhere from 1 to 6 years, offer higher pay with pay increases for learned skills and advancement, and include classroom instruction that teaches you the skills needed for the job. Often, employers will offer you full-time work once you've completed your apprenticeship, especially since they're familiar with your knowledge, experience and skills.

Apprenticeships have regained popularity since a Presidential Executive Order issued in 2017 promoted their expansion as a path to good jobs and careers. The U.S. Department of Labor offers a variety of resources and tools to help people looking for apprenticeship opportunities.

Organizations usually offer a limited number of internships and apprenticeships. If you've missed the deadline to apply for summer programs, now is a good time to start researching and applying for opportunities that are available for the fall and winter.

Prepare for college

If you've been accepted into a college program, congratulations! The summer is a great time to research the services that your school offers to students with disabilities. Good questions to consider when researching include:

  • Do I need to ask for accommodations?
  • Does my program of study or school offer a mentoring program?
  • What is the history of the school and disability rights?

Many schools have staff available during the summer who can answer your questions. If you have questions about a specific course or class, try contacting the professor. This could include questions about anything from accommodations to coursework.

If you have a question, ask! You may be surprised at what your college offers.

Do your research!

If you're still undecided about what to do next, use this summer as an opportunity to think about what you'd like to do and do some research.

The internet is a great place to start as you search for career options and career fairs, and the Choose Work! blog can help you learn about career development and supports and services available to you. You can also connect with a Ticket to Work (Ticket) service provider! The Ticket program is free and voluntary and supports career development for people ages 18 through 64 who receive Social Security Disability benefits. Ticket program service providers, like Employment Networks (ENs) and State Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agencies, can help you think about and identify your work goals, identify supports and services to help you achieve your goals and even help you find job placements.

As you enjoy the summer weather, remember there are plenty of ways to advance your job search and plan for your future, whether you're trying out a new career or planning your transition to college.

Learn More

To learn more about the Ticket program, visit You can also call the Ticket to Work Help Line at 866-968-7842 or 866-833-2967 (TTY) Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET. Ask a representative to send you a list of service providers or find providers on your own with the Ticket program Find Help tool.

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