The end of the semester is quickly approaching and you’re looking forward to days at the beach and laying out in the sun. You’ll finally be free from school assignments and deadlines…well, for a few months at least. You should definitely take advantage of those well-deserved weeks of free time: read books you actually want to read, go for a run without worrying about a stopwatch or just drink sweet tea while lying in a hammock. Summer is not only a great time to relax and refresh, it is also a great time to be searching for potential internships and employers. While you are enjoying your time off, you could also be looking for ways to make the next school semester as beneficial for your future career as possible.
It may not seem like the most fun way to spend your summer, but not only does a temporary job give you some extra spending money or savings for your school loan, it can also give you experience in the workforce. Whether you get a short-term job in retail or scoop ice cream at an ice cream shop, some experience is better than no experience at all. If you make an effort to do well at your job and reach out to your boss and co-workers, you can get recommendations and connections you would not have made otherwise. These kind of jobs may not last long, but if you take them seriously they can be useful assets to put on your résumé to indicate your experience.
While on the topic of résumés, summer is a great time to either create one or to improve on the one you have already written. The staff here at the Career Center will be working throughout the summer and will be available to help guide you. It is generally recommended that you limit undergraduate résumés to one page, which means you can easily create a rough draft on a Sunday afternoon. You can find résumé templates online, or through the Career Center’s résumé guide, which you can access at the Career Center page of the university’s website. Once you have a basic mock-up, you can send it to one of the staff members at the Career Center for supportive feedback and suggestions for how your résumé can be improved. The Career Center email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Whether you already have an internship lined up in the fall or you’re just beginning to think about the type of internship you would like to have, summer gives you the ability to discover potential positions. Send out emails and make phone calls to connect with companies and businesses of interest. Though they may not have openings currently advertised, by taking the initiative to introduce yourself and showing your interest in the company, they might be willing to notify you when positions or internships become available. You can take advantage of any contacts you meet and ask questions about how the company functions and what would be expected of any future interns.
Right now you’re probably thinking that there’s no way you’re going to have time to do any of these suggestions. You may even feel that you don’t want to spend time thinking about school or your career over the summer. That’s okay. Take some time for yourself and catch up on your sleep first, stay up late just for fun and laugh with your friends around beach bonfires. Once you feel sane again, refreshed from the stress of finals, keep these tips in mind, or come up with a few of your own! Then you will feel prepared and confident when you return to campus in the fall.
Have a wonderful summer!