Q&A: I have an after school job at a hospital. Can I put that on a college application?


Q: I have an after school job at a hospital. Can I put that on a college application?

A: Yes, you can and should put an after school job on your college applications. I would say only about 1 in every 8 cases when I read undergraduate applications did the applicant list a job in the extracurricular or work section. So, when an applicant listed a summer internship or other paid work as an activity, it actually stood out to me. This is especially true when an applicant indicated in their essay that they couldn’t participate in other activities due to needing to work to support their family.

Jobs that are related to the applicant’s academic interest (like starting an online clothing shop for arts majors or interning at a Senator’s office for PoliSci students) are especially applicable for students who are pursuing direct admissions into a major. Still, any job is better than none as holding down a job demonstrates commitment, responsibility, and work ethic —all things colleges are looking for in their prospective students. Plus, working a summer job gives you one more thing to write about in those pesky “tell us about an experience” prompts.

I recommend spending at least one summer or semester pursuing paid work to bolster your experiences and activities for your college application. The polls say that most schools rank work experience low in regards to selection criteria for admitted students, but I’m among the group who thinks the opposite. I understand what it takes to commit oneself to show up for a job day after day when you could be hanging out with friends.

Cover Photo by Photo by Ani Kolleshi on Unsplash