There are many resources Bates for students looking to get involved during the summer months. At the end of Short Term, many of us return to familiar jobs in food service, retail, or the commanding summer-camp industry. While these positions help to pay the bills, they may not offer something greater, a future or an experience, that is central to Bates’ purpose.

The Bates Career Development Center (BCDC) was founded with the intention of “deliver[ing] exemplary career-related services including career coaching and exploration, skill-building and training.” Since its founding, the BCDC has helped hundreds of Bates students achieve career-advancing opportunities and reach meaningful global institutions aiming to effect change in developing countries.

All Bates students receive emails from BCDC regarding various opportunities on JobCat almost every week. But how often do we read them or even visit the website? According to BCDC director David McDonough “February is the biggest month of the year for internship postings and currently through Jobcat we have 239 internships posted in a wide variety of industries and geographies.” This number is only a fraction of the opportunities in which Bates is in touch. There are over two thousand more available through the Liberal Arts Career Network, which can be accessed via Jobcat, as well.

For one example, the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) offers numerous internships available for those interested in the sciences. In its fifteenth year partnering with undergraduate institutions, NOAA has opportunities in science, policy and science communication. In past years interns have studied everything from ecotoxicology and invasive species to climate trends and ecosystem services evaluation. Some even designed web sites and added to policy for protected species. This new and interesting position could forward the career of anyone interesting in environmental studies. JobCat has many other fascinating positions and internships in all disciplines and areas of study.

Independent of BCDC a small start-up NGO called Community Water Solutions (CWS). This relatively young institution offers a three-week fellowship up to Bates Students this semester. CWS was founded back in 2010 when several recent college graduates discovered the lack of potable water in northern Ghana. These powerful young women decided to change that.

The founders of CWS facilitated the cleansing of huge amounts of torpid water by teaching local women the skills and resources they need in order to purify the water. Once it is purified the women work on the entrepreneur side of their newfound businesses and sell the water to their community at very reasonable rates. This not only allows them to cover the cost of materials but also gives them a steady wage with which they are able to better their lives. The opportunity available for Bates students entails establishing a new business in a new village within the operating region of CWS. Through this tutelage these businesses are founded and become independent over the course of the three week fellowship under fellow-directed instruction.

No formal skills are required; the applicant simply most possess a desire to impact progress in the world. CWS currently operates in 60 villages and empowers 98 women entrepreneurs. Almost 35,000 residents have been served with newly purified water. Cosmin Bardan plans to apply for the fellowship. In his own words, “I am applying because I believe that the fellowship is more than a project and it can be a mind-changer for me.”

With all these opportunities out in the mix, more Bobcats can take control of the summer and advance themselves, in mind, position and understand not only to be in a good place to join the work-force, but also to increase their understanding of the world. Summer is the perfect time to take a step back from the day to day Bates life and observe the world in a new way.