I am currently a 5th year undergrad at an HYPSMC - switched to physics from math 3rd year, and was ever so slightly too far behind to make graduation for my class. Academically, I think my record is pretty good - high GPA, advanced course load, etc. On the other hand, in part due to the midstream dismount and in part for reasons I would rather not discuss (unless you think they're probably relevant), I haven't had any research experience during my undergrad, nor much contact with the faculty in my department. For related reasons, I am not applying to grad school right now, but grad school is still my current career plan.
All this to ask: lacking past research or sources of recommendation, what are my best options for work in the several months+ that I will have before I apply? In other words, I'm looking for non-permanent physics jobs for people with a physics BS.
Ideally this would be something resembling a research environment/that would prepare me for grad school and/or applying. I really just want to find some place where I can do physics - that's the most important criterion. I don't care that much about making a ton of money, am open to moving far away, willing to learn new skills, trying to cast as wide a net as possible, etc.
One might wonder: why am I so interested in grad school? And I think I should be clear that I am not 100% fixated on a doctorate, or getting tenure somewhere and dying as a professor. I do really want to work in physics (even if it's grungy research work), and I think that grad school is the best path to that end. But I am not against defecting to something else if I enjoy it - and if possible I would like a first-hand idea of what I would be getting into.
If this sounds like a poor use of my time to you, or if I come across as hopelessly misguided or something, please don't hesitate to tell me why. Any suggestions would be terrific.
My many thanks,