How to Build a Powerful Resume this Summer

college admissions Sep 10, 2021
Social isolation has changed our reality in a matter of just a few months. The question that is on every high schooler’s mind: How do I make my resume shine and prepare for college if everything is shut. Yes, it does seem as if the world has turned its back to the high schoolers and especially the students interested in the medical field. Volunteering at the local hospitals is not a possibility, college summer classes are canceled, and many areas that require hands-on participation are off-limits. 
However, it is important to remember what colleges are really looking for: students who pursue their passion no matter what. 
So, what are the options left for students interested in advancing their resume and knowledge?
Online Summer Programs
While limited, there are a few research internships being offered online over the summer. If you lack direction or would benefit from a more structured learning experience, then these programs might be a good option for you. But don’t wait too long, some of the deadlines are fast approaching. 
Name: Premed Task Force
Description: Task Force 2020 is a remote program that weaves together research and hands-on activities, from medicine, science, engineering, and technology. Led by an MD and teacher involves students in a series of projects aimed at making a difference through innovation, research, and community service.
Deadline: Rolling admissions
Age eligibility: 9-12th graders
Description: The Stanford Explore Lecture Series is an exploratory series covering the basic fundamentals and current research areas represented by the various research areas of the Stanford School of Medicine (Immunology, Neuroscience, Cardiovascular Medicine, Regenerative and Stem Cell Medicine, Cancer Biology, Bioengineering, Bioinformatics, and Genetics). Lectures are taught by Stanford faculty, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows.
Deadline: Rolling admissions
Age eligibility: Current 9-12th graders
Description: This 3-week online program will introduce you to the key areas of kinesiology. Experience cutting edge research in the areas of physical activity, motor control, biomechanics, and physiology. Students will have a lab kit that will allow them to take measures and participate in laboratory group experiments both virtually and hands-on at home.
Deadline: Rolling admissions
Age eligibility: Rising 10-12th graders and graduating seniors


Conducting an independent research

Summer is a good time to begin an elaborate research


Self-driven research
If you’ve already got some experience and want to delve more deeply into a particular subject, then perhaps you can carry it solo. We’ve had students knock the socks off industry with the projects they have done alone—so if you think you’ve got the drive, go for it! And remember, you don’t have to go at it completely alone. Help along the way can be just a click away, you just have to know where to look online. 
Citizen science

Citizen science is scientific research conducted by amateur scientists, and that could be you! On these public platforms, you join other curious minds to pursue scientific research. You can seek help, look for projects that coincide with your own work, or look for a new project to get involved in. You can help measure radiation levels in the air, install nightlights to catch a parasitic fly in your backyard, or even help scientists with their coronavirus research. The possibilities are endless.  Here are some sites to explore:

  • Citizen  – get involved in a working group or association team

  • National Geographic – participate in projects in which volunteers and scientists work together to answer real-world questions
  • Scistarter – look through over 3,000 projects and events to get involved in.
  • – Help federal agencies accelerate innovation by participating in research projects

Showcase Your Talents by Competing
Take your research project one step further when you have some results to show and enter it into a competition. It’s a great way to receive recognition for your efforts and observe what your peers out there are achieving. Some examples of nationally recognized competitions are BioGeneius Challenge, Clean Tech Competition, and Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.
Publish Your Work
If you have documented your work in the form of a paper, you could also have it published. There are plenty of journals or magazines targeted at a younger audience where you can submit your paper. The National High School Journal of Science and the Journal of Youths in Science are just a couple of student peer-reviewed journals to which you could submit your work.  
A website that can bring you in on board with being an ambassador and working to improve the lives of autistic children

One idea of medically related volunteering is tutor elementary kids in STEM subjects. It’s a great way to reinforce your own STEM knowledge and demonstrate leadership skills. Another is researching and/or writing for gig is about writing blog posts related to healthcare topics. I’ve listed a few examples of these types of opportunities found on but there are several others listed there that can be done remotely.

  • Become a Pre-Med Mentor for Elementary-Age Students: looking for STEAM professionals or students with experience in healthcare to mentor to elementary-age students interested in healthcare.

  • Health Literacy Internship – Champions for Health: the Health Literacy Intern will assist with managing speaking engagements, recruiting speakers, and evaluating the community’s health literacy data.
  • Research Assistant – Documentary Film | Medical Industry: looking for remote research assistants to assist on projects about and for the international medical response to the coronavirus, international maternal care, and access to healthcare during childbirth.
    Cold Calling to Connect with a Lab
  • This option is a bit of a long shot, as it’s likely that if labs have emptied out (or reduced in numbers) then they are less likely to take on an intern to help out. To make it even harder, research opportunities are often pitched at the college student. But if you think you’ve got enough experience, then you could try cold emailing labs or academics. Just bear in mind that if you aren’t getting responses, change your course so you don’t waste too much time barking up the wrong tree. 
Volunteer for a Cause
  • Volunteering is another great way to pursue your interests, and there are a few opportunities out there that relate directly to the medical field. While these activities may not deepen your science knowledge as much as other programs, your soft skills like leadership and teamwork can really shine. Even volunteering in non-medical fields uses these skills, so don’t shy away from an opportunity just because it’s not directly related to medicine. Here is one 

Take an Online Course
And last but not least, you can continue learning online. There are thousands of online courses available and many of them are for free. Even if you have a very specific subject in mind, you can almost guarantee there is a course out there that covers it. MIT Opencourseware, Coursera, EdX, and diversity are just a few of the popular online platforms where you can find these courses.
There seem to be so many options? Which one can I start with first?
We always suggest that students do at least a couple of different activities over the summer, whether they be part-time done in tandem or one after the other. Many of these activities complement each other and/or will lead to another. You might start off with helping out on a science project, but then recognize that your knowledge is not sufficient enough to find a solution, which leads you to enroll in a course on that topic. Further down the track once you start to see the fruit of your labor you might then decide to enter your work into a competition. 
Doing activities in such a manner, where they relate to each other and further deepen your understanding of a subject, is a much more productive and enriching learning experience than pursuing several different activities that don’t relate. When you first start out in high school, you might get involved in extracurriculars covering different subjects, but as you progress through high school, you should begin to hone in on your interests—and pursue activities that relate and deepen your knowledge in a particular subject. This is the essence of your learning and the story you want to tell college admissions when you apply. 
Need help with navigating your journey? VoicED can help in so many ways. Sign up on our website VoicED for a free consultation to see how we can help you in your journey. 

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