A 2005 survey by the recruitment firm Office Angels found that 82% of 16- to 24-year-olds felt that television series influenced their choice of career. Here’s a guide to summer programs that let high school students preview careers inspired by some of our favorite shows. You know all the best series are in re-runs in the summer, anyways.
Symptoms include strong intellectual ability, a love of the sciences, and the desire to help others. Maybe it’s lupus? It’s not lupus. You’re just suffering from a passion for a career in medicine or healthcare. Learn to make the differential diagnosis at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School Summer Science Scholars Academy, or do a research internship with the National Institutes of Health or the Stanford Institutes of Medicine.
Any Gleeks out there inspired to take your summer in a New Direction? Try out a teaching career at the Arizona State University Hunnicutt Future Educators' Academy. Or if singing is your passion, check out vocal programs offered by the Berklee Summer Performance Program and Oberlin Conservatory of Music Summer Programs. Warning: no Auto-Tune allowed.
Parks and Recreation
The funniest show on television shows there’s more to careers in government than all that glamour and flash you see on C-SPAN. Work your way up Ron Swanson’s Pyramid of Greatness at the Choate Rosemary Hall John F. Kennedy '35 Institute in Government, St. Albans School of Public Service, or The Bill of Rights Institute Constitutional Academy.
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
The nice thing about being a real forensic investigator is you get more than 42 minutes plus commercial breaks to solve cases. Also, nobody expects you to make witty remarks while you’re wrist-deep inside a homicide victim. McDaniel College Forensic Science Camp covers blood analysis, fingerprinting, analysis of hair and fibers, DNA analysis, and ballistics analysis. And CSI: Miami fans can sample the forensic science course offered by the University of Miami Summer Scholar Programs.
It’s probably a safe bet that none of Dunder-Mifflin’s employees grew up wanting to sell paper, but they seem happy enough. Check out the basics of a business career at Operation Enterprise, Georgetown University's Fundamentals of Business, or University of Pennsylvania's Leadership in the Business World, limited to a select group of students admitted on the basis of academic excellence and demonstrated leadership. So you probably won’t get in because you stink at math! Boom roasted.
You need more than a well-tailored suit and a few skinny ties to make it in the cutthroat world of advertising today. Future account execs should look to the business programs listed above, but wannabe Don Drapers on the creative side might be better served by a creative writing program like the University of Iowa Young Writers' Studio. And graphic artists can study advertising design at the School of Visual Arts Summer Pre-College Program in New York City—just two blocks from Madison Avenue.
The Jersey Shore
MTV’s celebrated documentary series deconstructing modern Italian-American cultural identity takes its cast back to the old country for season four, filmed in Florence, Italy. University of Dallas Summer Programs Abroad in Rome allow students to experience Italy firsthand, with sessions covering Latin language and Shakespeare’s plays set in Italy. There’s not really a career to be previewed here, but imagine how impressed your friends will be when you can say “Gym/tan/laundry” in Latin.