Great article by Jenny Anderson of Quartz.com. Ms. Anderson echoes what we have been saying to many of our clients at Boston Academic for years. If your child is seeking to go into science research, by all means have them go get that lab internship. If your child is into digging wells in third-world countries, volunteering is a great use of their time. If there is a need for academic supplementation, summer school programs can be a great fit.
But don't forget about applying to work at a fast food restaurant, or a local business. Work experience can help a student stand out from the throngs of applicants who got their internships through relatives or friends. Being an intern at a huge firm isn't all that helpful, if you will be merely observing or doing busy work. Students who have experienced some of the real world are becoming more rare at highly competitive colleges, and that can make them attractive applicants. Learning how to work with others, and under others, young men and women gain lots of valuable experience, and as a plus, they can earn some money instead of only spending it.