Spring Break: Hit the Beach or Prepare for the Real World?
It’s almost that time of year- Spring Break! Unless you are a senior who plans on spending break frantically searching for a job (those student loans aren’t going to pay themselves off), you may be planning on heading to a warm beach to lay in the sun for a week. As you are daydreaming of your ideal beach vaca, do so with the awareness that your academic peers are using their time to score internships and give their resumes a boost. According to internships.com, the highest volume of intern applications are submitted between late February and early April, which- surprise, surprise- happens to coincide with spring breaks all over the country.
In addition to searching, applying, and hopefully interviewing for internships, keep in mind that there are additional ways to prepare yourself for the professional world and life after college.
Job shadowing: Job shadowing is especially important if you are unsure of which career path you plan on pursing and can help you determine which classes you will need to take moving forward. Go through your contacts, talk to your professors, reach out to your friends’ parents, talk to family friends, and use some networking skills to find professionals that will allow you to job shadow them during your break. You never know, make a good impression and stay in touch after spring break and your job shadowing experience may lead to an internship or job opportunity later down the line.
Community service: Is your resume looking a bit sparse as you are applying for jobs and internships? Until you have more job experience for your resume, use volunteer work to impress potential employers. Find a cause that you are passionate about, volunteer for an organization in need and form relationships with local philanthropies and nonprofits. These experiences can help build your resume, and give you speaking points for future interviews. Employers want to see that you give back to your community and will represent their company well.
Work on your resume: Speaking of building your resume, how is yours looking? Chances are that with homework, classes, tests and trying to maintain some semblance of a social life, you haven’t been able to dedicate time your resume; however, it is necessary that you have a resume that stands out if you hope to land an internship or summer job. This spring break, research and attend a reputable resume workshop in your area and find out what areas still need work.
Update your social media: College students have notoriously inappropriate social media pages. Need proof? Take a look at a friend or classmate’s Facebook page or Instagram feed. Needless to say, a potential employer will not find pictures of copious alcohol consumption amusing. Use your break to clean up your social media accounts and don’t forget to adjust the privacy settings. Also, take some time to update your LinkedIn- or create a LinkedIn account if you haven’t already!
While the beach and sun may be calling your name this Spring Break, creating a foundation for a successful career starts now.