Winter Break: More than Holiday Cookies!

The temperature is dropping, 8:15 Café is serving peppermint mochas, and holiday music is creeping onto the local radio stations. Winter break is just around the corner and while you may be looking forward to spending your time sleeping in or catching up on your favorite TV shows, you may want to think twice and consider using your time productively. Want to get ahead on the internship or job search? Don’t let this precious time slip through your fingers!

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Top Three Tips for “Making Your Break”

Make Decisions
Reflect on your past experiences and set goals and/or criteria for the upcoming summer. Are there skills that you’re looking to gain or strengthen through an internship? What types of jobs would you like to pursue and do you have a specific geographic location you’re looking in? Is graduate school something you are considering? Setting some parameters before you begin to search will ease the process and provide you with a mission.

Make Plans
Develop a strategy and timeline. Just as if you have a big project or paper to tackle for class, break it up into smaller steps and processes to make it manageable and create structure. First you’ll want to make sure you have an updated resume and resources for writing cover letters, which can be found on the Career Services website.

Make Contact
Reach out and connect with people in your network. This could include family, friends, faculty, alumni, colleagues, etc. Let people know what you’re looking for and see if you can gain any leads on positions. Next you’ll want to check SpiderConnect often for opportunity postings in addition to the NACElink, Career 15, and UCAN databases that can be found under the SpiderConnect “opportunities” tab.

Most of these steps remain relevant for the graduate school process. If you haven’t yet selected programs, start with setting criteria for what you would like to study and would look for in a program. Note that some programs are more research-based while others may put more emphasis on practical experience. After doing your research and identifying some programs of interest, look up everything that is needed to apply. Then it’s time to strategize and create a checklist of what to prepare in order to apply. Don’t forget that Career Services can also assist you with developing/creating your personal statement, reviewing your resume/CV and gathering application materials.

As you go through some of these steps, take time to sit down and sift through the information available on the Career Services website and read the Spider Way blog entries. Once you’ve done some of this research and prep work, schedule an appointment with a career advisor for early January to review you search strategy, ask questions and get more advice.

For more information, contact Career Services at 804-289-8547.

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