Category: General

Résumé Phrase Ideas for Common Campus Jobs

Campus jobs and student organization leadership positions are rich with valuable transferable skills. These experiences can be captured on your resume and described during interviews. For inspiration, here are a few examples clustered by job type.

Admissions Office Student Worker

  • Represented university to campus visitors, including prospective students, parents, alumni and community members
  • Answered questions about ____ College and local community
  • Wrote original content for Admissions Blog, read by prospective students and parents
  • Helped set up for special visit days and Admissions events
  • Entered data into Banner database, maintaining accuracy and strict confidentiality
  • Answered phones and called prospective students
  • Participated in regular staff meetings
  • Offered suggestions for improving campus tour procedure, all of which were adopted
  • Consistently recognized by visitors for providing engaging and interesting campus tours
  • Trained new student workers, both on the job and during week-long training
  • Provided front desk coverage as needed
  • Performed variety of administrative tasks, including filing, photocopying, faxing, checking and sending emails, preparing mass mailings, etc.

Food Service Worker/Catering Staff

  • Worked professionally with diverse range of patrons, including faculty, donors, board members, alumni, students and general public
  • One of only 2 student workers requested by name to cater high-stakes donor events
  • Communicated regularly with supervisors and co-workers to ensure timely and efficient set-up of large-scale events
  • Conducted regular detailed inventory of stock to ensure accurate documentation for purchasing manager
  • Assisted in training new staff; edited and updated training manual to include time-saving tips
  • Promoted twice within same academic year
  • Managed customer complaints professionally and promptly
  • Organized and cleaned work station regularly to ensure safe, efficient work environment
  • Assisted in other workstations as needed; floated between stations whenever necessary
  • Adapted easily to new equipment and procedures; assisted other staff in making transition
  • Collaborated with supervisors and co-workers to resolve staffing coverage concerns

Greek Life

  • Oversaw and executed recruitment process; created public relations plan for the year and successfully increase recruitment quota from ___ to ____
  • Collaborated with membership chairs of other sororities to coordinate recruitment process
  • Oversaw $_____ budget; coordinated with President in allocating funds responsibly throughout academic year
  • Spearheaded university’s first Leadership Speaker Series; enlisted help of alumni and local professionals to share their leadership expertise
  • Organized several philanthropic events, both on campus and in community, successfully raising over $____ for local charities
  • Commissioned to design logo for InterFraternity Council’s stop smoking initiative
  • Used Java and MySQL to develop a voting system to enable members to anonymously vote on fraternity business
  • Re-designed fraternity’s website using PHP and Flash resulting in __% increase in web traffic
  • Participated in diversity and cultural sensitivity training
  • Served as member of chapter’s Honor Board
  • Ensured that all standing rules and bylaws, as well as national rules, were adhered to consistently

Library Student Worker

  • Answered patron questions, referred them to appropriate resources
  • Communicated regularly with supervisor and co-workers to ensure efficient transition between shifts
  • Trained new student staff to on library procedures and on how to use electronic databases
  • Offered suggestion for creating Discord group for library workers, helping to encourage community-building
  • Helped craft solution for scheduling conflicts among student staff
  • Acted as first point of contact for community members, including toddlers, teens, business people and retirees
  • Sorted and re-shelved books and media
  • Processed faculty and graduate student requests for interlibrary loans
  • Labeled, stamped and sorted hundreds of books with 100% accuracy

Resident Assistant/Community Advisor

  • Designed and delivered wide range of programming options for residents, resulting in 5% increase in student participation over previous year
  • Participated in extensive safety training and on-going professional development
  • Acted as mediator for residents and helped identify practical solutions for disagreements
  • Maintained professionalism during emergency situations, being careful to implement standard protocols
  • Referred students to appropriate on-campus and off-campus resources as needed
  • Collaborated regularly with fellow RAs to ensure safe, respectful, fun, inclusive living environment
  • Processed and recorded all requests for maintenance repairs or custodial needs
  • Communicated with administrators, staff, faculty and community members in person, by phone, and through written correspondence
  • Recognized as approachable and energetic by residents, peers, staff, and administrators
  • Oversaw logistics for various programs, including securing venues, ordering food, coordinating schedules, and implementing marketing strategies
  • Organized collaborative hall events to raise awareness about sustainability efforts
  • Assisted with move-in day activities; welcomed freshmen and their families
  • Respond promptly and professionally to all resident concerns

Student Organization President

  • Led monthly all-group meetings, and bi-weekly leadership meetings
  • Instituted new marketing plan to overhaul recruitment practices resulting in 45% increase in membership
  • Assisted in developing strategic plan which included, ______, ______, and ______
  • During two year tenure, increased member participation in ____ by ____%
  • Mediated member disagreements, particularly related to allocation of funds
  • Represented group on various campus-wide committees to advocate for ______ issues
  • Communicated regularly with other student organizations, administrative offices, faculty and community members
  • Recognized as an approachable, fair, professional leader
  • Coordinated logistics for annual student conference in _________
  • Acted as emcee for ____ fundraiser which raised over $____ for ______
  • Generated discussion topics for weekly brown bag lunch series
  • Identified and secured speakers for _______ event
  • Revitalized group’s social media presence, including the addition of Instagram and TikTok, leading to 126% improved member involvement


  • Explained complex mathematical concepts in easy-to-understand terms to high school students
  • Spoke with parents in person and by phone to provide progress updates and to answer questions or concerns regarding their child’s learning
  • Offered test-taking and exam preparation strategies to freshmen and sophomore French majors
  • Organized weekly lesson plans for 8 music students
  • Coordinated tutoring schedules for 2 college students and 4 high school students
  • Facilitated workshops on “Time Management for College Students”
  • Provided one-on-one tutoring for college students with different learning abilities, including a student diagnosed with dyslexia, and another diagnosed with Asperger syndrome
  • Worked with students on analytical reasoning
  • Helped students identify problems in their writing, such as circular or faulty reasoning

Résumé Phrase Ideas for Different Majors

As part of your coursework in any major, you’ll experience a wide range of classes where you’ll use different techniques, study and apply various theories, use different instrumentation, and investigate multiple topics. These course-related experiences can be captured on your resume. For inspiration, here are a few examples, clustered by major (list includes non-Lawrence majors).

Anthropology Majors

  • Used variety of survey design methods including _________, __________, _________, and __________
  • Coded interview transcripts and field notes
  • Led class discussion on use of religion and myth within Ukrainian immigrant communities
  • Participated in ____ hours of field observation at after-school program
  • Conducted participant observation as part of ethnography project
  • Identified artifacts, features and sites from prehistoric through historic eras at ___________
  • Maintained thorough, accurate field notes
  • Analyzed data sets using SPSS and MS Excel
  • Investigated relationship between language and culture in establishment of social status among adolescent Filipino-Canadians
  • Identified traumatic, pathological and occupational markers on skeletons using fundamental forensic anthropology methods, including ______________

Art Majors

  • Created ___ x ___ painting using _____ techniques
  • Worked with various media, including metal, paper, ink, and ceramic
  • Familiar with various techniques, including lithography, print making, digital imaging and sculpture
  • Studied _____ art with an emphasis on the works of ___________
  • Created complex designs
  • Worked closely with art director to develop storyboards for _____
  • Designed a CD cover from concept for ________
  • Coordinated exhibition displays for 70 pieces for _________
  • Catalogued and wrote descriptions for 250+ piece collection
  • Collaborated with team of 4 students to set up and take down large-scale public display by _________
  • “________” on canvas selected for display at ________
  • Utilized ______ to create graphics and design layout for _________

Biology Majors

  • Designed several experiments, including _______, _______, ________ and _______
  • Perform a variety of molecular and cellular biology techniques, including restriction digestion, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), western blot, and immunostaining
  • Led class discussion on unique physical and biological properties and dynamics of marine ecosystems
  • Analyzed experimental data; maintained detailed lab notebook
  • Performed hormonal analyses on variety of species using enzyme immunoassays (EIA’s)
  • Studied principles of epidemiology and public health in role of microorganisms in infectious disease prevention and transmission
  • Identified artifacts, features and sites from prehistoric through historic eras at ___________
  • Utilize online tools to manipulate nucleic acids and proteins
  • Report findings in a concise, scientific writing format including proper citations and figures
  • Applied basic bioengineering principles to fermentation and downstream bioprocessing
  • Used NMR spectroscopy and mass spectrometry to analyze tissue samples

Criminal Justice/Law Majors

  • Examined the roles of police, prosecution, courts and corrections in administration of justice in United States
  • Reviewed security problems affecting commercial businesses, such as burglary, robbery, shoplifting, check fraud, credit card fraud, safe selection, counterfeiting
  • Researched sociological aspects of police/community relations, with focus on police relations with minority groups and positive police/citizen partnerships
  • Studied fundamentals of criminal investigation, including searching and recording information at crime scene, handling physical evidence, scientific aids in crime detection, a criminal’s modus operandi and criminal informants
  • Wrote mock-up law enforcement reports using state standards
  • Participated in regular in-class role plays to practice effective conflict resolution communication skills
  • Reviewed traffic laws, deposit-bond schedules, traffic stop procedures, citations, tactical awareness, accident investigations and reports, and traffic control
  • Learn how to prepare for and testify in court of law

Environmental Studies Majors

  • Studied influence corporations and environmental lobbying groups have on development of laws and policies
  • As part of 3-person team, conducted extensive study of soil erosion in downtown ____ as a result of ABC Corp.’s 2008 building renovations, resulting in 45-min presentation
  • Familiar with ecological modeling, including use of computer simulations, for understanding ecological resource management
  • Participated in field research to understand ecological relationships and biodiversity around Mt. _______
  • Spent 3 weeks gathering data at ____ Water Treatment Facility as part of feasibility study to determine cost-effectiveness of building new treatment facility in Town of _____
  • Lead class discussions on _______
  • Examined hydrologic cycle; used analytical procedures to evaluate evapotranspiration, precipitation, infiltration, and streamflow
  • Wrote proposal and 10-page report on sustainable specifications for the _____ Building in downtown _____, with LEED Gold rating as goal
  • Investigated relationship between geology and health, in particular, reviewed published research on effect of water contamination on children’s IQ in India and Mexico
  • Learned fundamental concepts of evolutionary biology, including ________

Economics Majors

  • Used economic theories to study the free trade debate, market responses to environmental damage, earnings inequality, and antitrust legislation
  • Familiar with statistical methods: sampling distributions, conditional probability, descriptive statistics and graphs, random variables and their distributions, independence, the Central Limit Theorem, parametric and nonparametric tests of hypotheses, and multiple regression
  • Collected and analyzed data using ______ techniques
  • Designed research project on ________ culminating in ___ page paper and ___ minute presentation
  • Monitored fluctuations of the ________ to study impact on stock prices
  • Collaborated with _____ students to lead class discussions on _______
  • Used MS Excel and Minitab to _____________
  • Explored the relationship between China’s ________ and Japan’s ____________
  • Applied calculus models and concepts such as partial derivatives, exponential and logarithmic functions, and differential equations to ___________________
  • Utilized various primary and secondary sources
  • Maintained general ledger and reconciled discrepancies, wrote budget proposals, maintained budget and gave annual report as Treasurer of __________

English Majors

  • Compared and contrasted _________ with _________ resulting in 8-page paper and 10 minute class presentation
  • Conducted extensive literature review of academic essays about William Blake
  • Utilized Lexis-Nexus, EBSCO Host, Jstor and other electronic databases
  • Wrote extensively on topic of female concepts of power in 18th century France
  • Conducted close readings of texts
  • Examined “war writings” of 19th century Russia
  • Explored impact of poverty on expressions of faith in poetry of 17th century Europe; contrasted findings with translations of 17th century Chinese poetry
  • Led class discussion on the use of irony in Kurt Vonnegut’s Galapagos
  • Organized meeting times among 4 fellow students for group project

Finance Majors

  • Analyzed company’s financial needs and developed short and long term plans with 4 group members for case study
  • Explored conceptual relationship between expected return and relevant risk of individual assets and portfolios of assets
  • Familiar with basic time value methodology to general valuation and integrated cash flow applications
  • Developed and analyzed clients’ financial statements (balance sheet, profit and loss) for various case studies; presented analysis and approach to class
  • Assessed clients’ financial goals and utilized portfolio allocation models to create (mock) investment portfolios
  • Monitored fluctuations of the ________ to study impact on stock pricing
  • Used MS Excel and Minitab to _____________
  • Developed business plan which was selected by local non-profit organization out of 17 submissions, as part of Innovations class
  • Performed statistical analysis of financial data of 20 HMOs in order to __________
  • Examined economic stability of four Southeast Asian countries and posited two approaches for investors interested in this geographic area
  • Familiar with how to calculate a bond’s periodic interest payment and market value when market rates are different than coupon rate
  • Explain capital budgeting, identify the costs and returns of capital budgeting projects, to fellow students as Classroom Assistant/Finance Tutor

Government or Political Science Majors

  • Analyzed and compiled reports on the proposed European Union Constitution and various political speeches to better understand _____________
  • Analyzed United Nations voting records to explore the alliances between countries
  • Acquired knowledge of the lobbying process as part of ____________
  • Researched and wrote a policy paper on Reforming International Institutions
  • Explored the impact of the ________ Act by ____________
  • Collaborated with 3 students to lead class discussions on _______
  • Compared and contrasted the political systems of _________ in order to _____________
  • Explored the impact of the _________ elections on ________ resulting in a ______-page paper and 20 minute class presentation
  • Familiar with several electronic reference databases such as, _______________
  • Utilized various primary and secondary sources
  • Examined processes for developing scientific surveys and polls, including limitations, voter participation, political decision-making
  • Prepared and delivered speech as representative of _____ for Model UN

History Majors

  • Compared and contrasted French and Russian industrial revolutions, resulting in 12-page paper and 20 min. presentation
  • Studied warfare in classical antiquity from Homeric Greece to Roman Empire
  • Examined role of women in building communities in Greek, Hellenistic and Roman societies
  • Delivered “London’s Fall From Grace” poster presentation at 200_ NCUR (National Conferences on Undergraduate Research)
  • Participated in 4-student group presentation; taught full class session, including assignment of worksheets
  • Used various electronic databases to research primary and secondary sources
  • Encouraged by History department chair to become history tutor
  • Asked by theatre department to consult on period play
  • Tutored undergraduates and high school students on variety of history topics; helped students prepare for mid-term and final exams

Marketing Majors

  • Developed mock marketing plan for startup business, including internal/external situation analysis, internal marketing quality audit, target market identification, strategic and tactical goal setting, marketing mix development; feedback and evaluation system
  • Led lively class discussion on “Customer Service and Handling Dissatisfaction”
  • Designed sample marketing communications plan, including: advertising, personal selling, sales promotion, direct and web-based communications, and public relations
  • Delivered 10-minute marketing pitch to class, successfully advocating for _____
  • Studied Internet marketing, including SEM, direct marketing, online advertising, customer relations management, ____, ____, and ____
  • Analyzed marketing data using SPSS
  • Familiar with univariate and multivariate data analysis techniques
  • Designed market research project: formulated a research problem, designed questionnaire, selected a sample frame; collected, entered and analyze respondent data; wrote a comprehensive research report in collaboration with 3 students
  • Examined issues around global marketing, with close emphasis on role of cultural diversity
  • Member of team that won 1st place in 2008 AAF-NSAC District Competition

Mathematics Majors

  • Thorough knowledge of statistical modeling, techniques and practices
  • Formulated and analyzed mathematical models for a variety of real-world phenomenon, including ________
  • Analyzed, constructed, and verified ___________ algorithms
  • Formulated and assessed logical expressions and functions
  • Graphed quadratic, rational, radical, and absolute value functions, linear equations and inequalities
  • Determined convergence and divergence of sequences and infinite series using comparison tests, geometric series, ratio test, harmonics, integral test, root test and alternating series
  • Used MATLAB to ____________
  • Wrote SQL queries using SQL Server and Oracle
  • Manipulated large data sets for analytical studies
  • Regularly assisted professor in explaining complex mathematical concepts in easily-to-understand terms
  • Analyzed data for trends and supported findings through thorough documentation
  • Presented statistical results and technical findings to class of 25 students as part of 30 min. presentation

Physics Majors

  • Familiar with classical theories of physics, including ones relating to classical mechanics, thermal physics, electricity and magnetism
  • Designed research project on ________ culminating in ___ page paper and ___ minute presentation
  • Solved 3-D calculus-based problems using Kaleidagraph
  • Collaborated with _____ students to solve ______ theorems
  • Familiar with using linear programming for qualitative analysis of data; optimization in multiple variables
  • Wrote detailed lab notes, including all methods and procedures
  • Conducted weekly laboratory exercises on laser physics and optics
  • Explored relationship between physics and music, including vibrations, waves, interference, resonance, physics of musical instruments and impact of electronics
  • Senior research seminar: built a model and developed an hypotheses – __________ – based on the theory that ____________; conducted significant literature review
  • Familiar with computer-based approaches to graphical visualization, solution of ordinary differential equations, and evaluation of integrals
  • Examined fundamental properties of crystalline solids from experimental perspective
  • Analyzed, constructed and tested circuits used in present-day research with strict adherence to standard laboratory practice

Public Relations Majors

  • Studied various theories of communications, including ____, ____, ____ and ____.
  • Examined issues of age, ethnicity, and gender in relation to communication.
  • Wrote simulated memo to parents of first year students informing them about recent changes to residence policies; letter subsequently adopted by Residence Life.
  • Interviewed attorney, J. Smith, regarding issues slander, invasion of privacy and libel; gave 15 min. class presentation summarizing interview.
  • Developed communication portfolio for St. Mary’s Hospital in collaboration with three other students.
  • Studied crisis communication; presented comparison of Mattel vs. Fisher-Price management of toy recalls
  • Wrote several university press releases, including news of $2.5 million gift
  • Gave numerous mock news conferences, including announcement of tainted beef recall.
  • Developed 20-page, corporate communications package for mock Google buyout of Facebook and gave 30 min. class presentation as part of 3-person final project.

Psychology Majors

  • Read extensively about various child development theories, including those of Piaget, Mahler, Bowlby and Bandura.
  • Familiar with research design, reseach methodologies, and statistical analysis.
  • Conducted semester-long study examining response times to visual stimuli with and without auditory distractions, resulting in 25-page paper and 30 min. presentation.
  • Examined theory that employment duration among immigrant populations is longer than that of domestic populations.
  • Used various electronic databases, including PsychInfo, PsychARTICLES, and ProQuest.
  • Lead numerous class discussion on wide range of topics, such as anxiety’s effect on studying, post traumatic stress from 9/11, and therapeutic uses of music and song.
  • As part of 5-student group, observed learning strategies of 3-5 year old children at local daycare center.
  • Utilized SPSS to analyze research findings.


  • Familiar with various theoretical perspectives, including systems theory, exchange theory, ____, _____ and ______
  • Led several class discussions on topics such as Feminist Response to Racism, Modernizing the Catholic Church, and Sociology of the Internet
  • Examined cultural influences on consumer behavior with specific emphasis on Japanese-American culture; wrote 15-page paper summarizing findings
  • As part of 4-person group, gave 45-minute presentation on Homelessness in Chicago, theorizing that __________
  • Familiar with models of research design, data collection techniques and data analysis
  • Compared media coverage of two celebrities and two political figures to examine role of media and popular culture on daily life
  • Conducted interviews of 30 professional women (employed full time)and 32 college women (employed no more than 20 hours/week) as part of field project that explored perceptions of high-end consumer items
  • Designed social network website, using Ning, to research “group think” within virtual communities; site later adopted by instructor to conduct future research

Screenwriting Resources for Underrepresented Writers

Jonathan Hogan

Screenwriting, similar to professional creative writing, constitutes a small and highly competitive profession. Because of this, the internet is full of suggestions that come from highly privileged places. One website, for example, recommends quitting your job and writing 9 – 5 while also moving to L.A. (“How to Become a Screenwriter”). Such a focus on individual solutions to the restrictive nature of screenwriting obscures larger structures that make entry into the industry especially difficult for those with oppressed identities. The unhelpful nature of websites such as these is especially frustrating when one considers the most recent report on diversity in Screenwriting by the Writers Guild of West America.

According to the report, 56% of the industry identify as white men, 21% as white women, 13% as men of color, and 10% as women of color (Robb). When compared to demographics in the U.S. population, white male screenwriters are the only over-represented group, whereas representation of Native/Indigenous writers and Middle Eastern writers equates to “near-total erasure.” In light of the dual difficulties of a both restrictive and seemingly unaware industry, aspiring to become a screenwriter might seem an act in vain. Nonetheless, there are screenwriting programs that look to explicitly support underrepresented groups. I will explore three of these programs below, however, a full list of 10 programs is available here.

  1. Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment – New Writers Fellowship

The Coalition of Asian Pacifics (CAPE) is an organization seeking to “champion… diversity by educating, connecting, and empowering Asian American and Pacific Islander artists and leaders in entertainment and media” and dates back to 1991 (“CAPE’s Mission and History”). CAPE hosts multiple programs focusing on helping Asian Americans and Pacifica Islanders break through barriers in areas ranging from directing to screenwriting. Their New Writers Fellowship takes place in the Spring and sees accepted writers attend workshops while matching them with “a high-level industry mentor to help them revise their original script into professional-level writing samples” (“CAPE New Writers Fellowship — Developing Asian & Pacific Islander Screenwriters in TV and Film”).

2. The Black List WIF Feature Residency

The Black List Women in Film Feature Residency provides “six promising non-professional screenwriters who are of underrepresented genders (women, NB/GNC and/or trans, and others) to participate in a one year residency” (“2021 Black List / WIF Feature Residency | The Black List”). The residency’s focus is twofold. Namely, it focuses on improving residents’ writing skills, while also connecting residents with production companies (“2021 Black List / WIF Feature Residency | The Black List”). Although the program focuses on pursuing gender equality in screenwriting, it should be noted that “Women in Film,” the sponsoring organization, has a recently formed Black Member Forum and thus seems to at least be aware of the importance of an intersectional understanding of oppression.

3. Native American Media Alliance – Native American TV Writers Lab

Native American Media Alliance hosts a “5 week intensive scriptwriters program that prepares Native Americans for writing careers at major television networks” (“Native American Media Alliance | 6th Annual Native American TV Writers Lab Application”). During the program, writers will “complete an original plot… and receive feedback from peers and an experienced writing instructor” (“Native American Media Alliance | 6th Annual Native American TV Writers Lab Application”). At the end of the program, writers will then pitch their scripts to executives from various production companies. Although the program certainly focuses on getting Native American’s into the industry, a further goal of the program is “to improve media portrayals of Native Americans” (“Native American Media Alliance | Mission”).


“2021 Black List / WIF Feature Residency | The Black List.” The Black List, Accessed 19 Apr. 2022.

“CAPE New Writers Fellowship — Developing Asian & Pacific Islander Screenwriters in TV and Film.” CAPE, Accessed 19 Apr. 2022.

“CAPE’s Mission and History.” CAPE, Accessed 19 Apr. 2022.

“How to Become a Screenwriter: A Pro’s Ultimate Guide.” Script Reader Pro, 14 June 2018,

“Native American Media Alliance | 6th Annual Native American TV Writers Lab Application.” Native American Media Alliance, Accessed 19 Apr. 2022.

“Native American Media Alliance | Mission.” Native American Media Alliance, Accessed 19 Apr. 2022.

Robb, David. “WGA West Screenwriting Inclusion Report: Women & People Of Color Continue To Make Progress In Hiring But ‘Remain Significantly Underrepresented.’” Deadline, 5 Nov. 2021,

Jonathan is a Third Year German and Government major. He works as a Peer Educator to assist students in the CJW and GLI career communities. In addition to professional development, Jonathan is interested in the cultural construction of the modern nation-state, normative constraints on rational behavior, and all things German. You can schedule an appointment with him here to improve your resume, learn more about the CJW and GLI career opportunities, and work on anything else professional development-related.

Government Gap Years

By Jonathan Hogan

If you are interested in working in government but you’re not quite ready to commit to a career, or if you are simply looking for something to do between Lawrence and a career and have a background in government, you might want to consider a government gap year. In the following paragraphs, then, I will outline the most prominent programs and what they broadly entail.

Pathways Recent Graduate Program

The broadest program for government gap years is the Pathways Recent Graduate Program. Most broadly, the Pathways program is designed to “provide students [and recent graduates]… with a wide variety of educational institutions, from high school to graduate level, with opportunities to work in agencies and explore Federal careers while still in school and while getting paid for the work performed” (“Students & Recent Graduates”). The Recent Graduates Program, as the name implies, is generally open to students who have graduated in the last two years. An important caveat, as with many government programs, is U.S. citizenship. Interns must have U.S. citizenship by the end of their one-year program. What sets the Pathways program apart is the fact that it is administered by nearly every federal agency. This means that students with interests as differentiated as agricultural and diplomacy could both find Pathways internships working with the State Department and the USDA respectively. Such a variety of programs, nonetheless, makes it difficult to talk about specifics. Most broadly, recent graduate interns are expected to work full-time for a year, for pay, while learning the ins and outs of their agency. Excitingly, one of the benefits of the program includes the possibility of being offered a full-time position at the end of the internship, thus making Pathways an interesting program even for those more certain about a career path with the federal government. To learn more about Pathways programs, it’s best to go to the website of an agency of interest to learn more about their specific practices.

Peace Corps

One of the most prominent gap year programs is the Peace Corps. Broadly, Peace Corps members are deployed to countries around the world where they learn the local language, typically live with a host family, and volunteer their time working on projects ranging from education to community economic development. While experience in the Peace Corps is not an internship with a government agency per se, its challenges of working abroad, fostering cultural and linguistic competencies, and working to support development overlap significantly with many positions in the State Department and USAID. The benefits of the Peace Corps include a stipend of $10,000 upon completion of the 2.5-year program, tuition assistance to a broad list of graduate school programs under Paul D. Coverdell Fellowship, and a higher likelihood of getting a job within the federal government. To learn more, check out the Peace Corps website and get in touch with a local representative. 

State Government Gap-Years

State governments generally have fewer gap year opportunities than the federal government for recent grads, that being said, many states do offer some form of an internship. In Wisconsin, there appears to be only one opportunity for recent grads, namely the Department of Transportation Internship Program. This program can see interns working in a wide variety of areas while “networking with other interns, state government employees, and management” (“Division of Personnel Management Student Internships”). State internships are likely to vary greatly, so it is wise to investigate the programs offered in your state when considering gap years.


AmeriCorps, much like the Peace Corps, is a service-based experience in which recent grads can gain experience working to help communities in areas ranging from disaster recovery to education. As the name implies, however, this program sees volunteers help communities in America. It is important to note that AmeriCorps workers work through an NGO partnered with AmeriCorps rather than AmeriCorps itself, thus, volunteering doesn’t constitute government work. Nonetheless, volunteers, who dedicate between a summer and a year of their time to the program are granted not only a reasonable living stipend and student loan repayment assistance but also professional development resources that can help kickstart careers in non-profit and governmental industries. Additionally, dedicating a year of your life/resume to government-sponsored service certainly helps one stand out to potential government employers. To learn more about AmeriCorps, visit their website!

Works Cited

“Division of Personnel Management Student Internships.” Wisconsin.Gov, Accessed 18 May 2022.

Home | AmeriCorps. Accessed 18 May 2022.

“Meet the Moment.” Peace Corps, Accessed 18 May 2022.

“Students & Recent Graduates.” U.S. Office of Personnel Management, Accessed 18 May 2022.

Jonathan is a Third Year German and Government major. He works as a Peer Educator to assist students in the CJW and GLI career communities. In addition to professional development, Jonathan is interested in the cultural construction of the modern nation-state, normative constraints on rational behavior, and all things German. You can schedule an appointment with him here to improve your resume, learn more about the CJW and GLI career opportunities, and work on anything else professional development-related.

Step-by-Step Guide For An Impactful Summer

Step 1: Find out your goal

For those of you who have jobs or internships for the summer, it may be your goal to excel in those positions. However, what if you don’t have one of those opportunities and still want a high-impact summer? Here is our list of goals you can have:

  • Learn a new skill
  • Volunteer
  • Create your own “resident” experience
  • Prepare for graduate school applications or job search

There are so many other goals you can have for your summer as well! But this was our list of suggestions to just get you thinking. 

Step 2: Figure out the steps to achieve that goal

We suggest writing out your plan for the summer. Whether it is easier to break it up by day, week or month is up to you! If you are learning a new skill or expanding your knowledge on a subject, you may take some free online courses or even courses at a community college nearby. If you are volunteering, research where you would like to spend your time and reach out to find times that fit in your schedule. If you want to create your own resident experience, research where you would like to stay for the summer, the funding that Lawrence or the community can provide, who you would like to study with, or where you would like to work. If you’re looking to prepare for graduate school or a job search, figure out which schools or which fields you are interested in a form a plan for creating your application materials. 

Step 3: Execute! 

Stick to your plan! If you end up falling behind that is totally okay, just be sure you have a chance to recharge and get back in there. Always keep in mind that even the tiniest amount of progress can make a huge impact on your career and your goals and ensure you have a high-impact summer.

Step 4: Keep track of your progress

Be sure to take note of all of the progress you are making. You can do this by journaling, keeping a calendar, or just reviewing all of the materials you’ve gathered throughout the summer. If you’re volunteering be sure to log your hours. Also, if you are working with other people, you can even ask them how you have progressed throughout the summer. 

Step 5: Enjoy the benefits!

If you have an internship, there is a really good chance you have earned college credit for completing your position! Not having to take one extra class during your time at Lawrence is a really great benefit. Those of you who learned new skills, be ready to excel in your classes relating to those skills or apply them all throughout the school year. The same goes for those of you who created your own residency! If you got a head start on job or graduate school applications, be ready to send those in and enjoy the downtime after getting such a good head start. 

Timeline for Applying to Graduate School

Adapted from and  

While the application process for graduate school can be overwhelming, it becomes easier to manage if you split the process into smaller steps over the course of several months (or even years). Here is a timeline for the application process to help you prepare over time!

TIMELINE (if applying for admission immediately following graduation from Lawrence)

Junior (Year 3) 

If you plan to apply to graduate school during senior year, it’s a good idea to: 

  • Solidify which area of study you would like to pursue. 
  • Speak with advisers, professors, and career advisors about your interest in graduate school to get advice and suggestions for beginning the program search process. 
  • Create a CV. Here is a sample to help you get started. This resource can give more advice and examples. Our career advisor can help with this as well. 
  • Start research on graduate programs of interest. Things to consider include placement, curriculum, location and size, and more. Pay attention to details about required standardized exams, application processes and deadlines, faculty research, and financial aid/scholarship information. If necessary, contact schools for more information. 
  • Start gathering information about financial aid: scholarships, fellowships, and graduate and teaching assistantships. This list of resources for funding can help you.
  • Start preparing for any necessary graduate admissions tests, such as the GRE 
  • Get involved in a research project if you have not already gained research experience – click here to explore research opportunities and watch our information session on how to apply to the Lawrence University Research Fellowship for the summer 
  •  If possible, attend conferences in your discipline, especially if they include sessions for prospective graduate students or graduate school fairs 
  • If needed, prepare for taking the GRE exam 
  • Look into extramural fellowships in your relevant fields 

Summer before senior year (June to August) 

This is about 6 months away from most application deadlines. While it is important to use the summer to recharge or do other things like research or internships, it is important to have a strong start to your application process. It is important to: 

  • Narrow down the list of programs you intend to apply to (investigate potential faculty mentors, requirements, etc.) and record application requirements and deadlines. This school comparison worksheet can help you do so – you can also use Excel to recreate this worksheet.  
  • Prepare for and/or take the GRE or other required standardized exams 
  • Draft a personal statement or statement of purpose and any other required application essays or materials.  

Early Fall (September to October) 

By early fall, the application process speeds up. It is important to: 

  • Actively seek and apply for application fee waivers 
  • Contact faculty members to seek their advice and ask if they are willing to write you a strong recommendation letter 
  • If your discipline requires you to reach out to prospective faculty for your graduate program, start reaching out to them – you can find their contact information either on their website or on the department website 
  • Solicit feedback on your personal statement and any other essays from professors you know, campus writing centers, and/or your career advisor 
  • Register to take the GRE no later than October (if you haven’t already done so) 

Late Fall (October to November) 

By late fall, you should be nearing completion of your application materials. 

  • Complete application forms 
  • Revise and finalize your statement of purpose, CV, and any other essays 

Application Deadlines (November to December – deadlines vary by program) 

As year’s end approaches, send your applications by the due date 

  • Submit all applications 
  • Order/send transcripts  
  • Ask your letter writers to submit their recommendation letters, providing all the forms, information, and deadlines 
  • Verify that letters of recommendation, test scores, transcripts, and any other supporting documents were received by the graduate programs  

Reach out for help!

The graduate school application process is daunting, but you do not have to go through it alone! Your professors, academic advisors and our career advisors will be happy to support you throughout this process. Feel free to reach out and make an appointment with Jacklyn Fischer, our PHN advisor, for help!