What to Do During Winter Break?

This week and next, I’ll be providing you with some ideas of things to work on during winter break. These ideas are to help you get closer to finding that dream internship or job.

We have written previous blogs about ideas of to-do’s during a break period. Previous ideas included: volunteering, job shadowing, visit/research cities where you are hoping to live/work, informational interviewing, job/internship search, arrange for out-of-town/state interviews, work on resumes/cover letters, prepare a job search portfolio, buy your interview suit/outfit, and research employers/companies/organizations. Here are the links to the previous posts so that you find out more information about the list above.

I strongly encourage you to pursue some of the suggestions that we’ve made in prior blog posts. I also have a few new ideas to add to the list.

Bikes@Naz ... in Winter – Nazareth College, Rochester, NY

Learn a New Skill. While reading a recent article on the USA Today College website, I read about how to utilize winter break to learn a new (or develop further) computer skill. Look at programs that could be helpful for your future career. Programs such as Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Excel, or Microsoft PowerPoint can be useful in upcoming classes and your future career. I have used Microsoft Excel in several of the jobs that I’ve held currently and in the past. It’s a great skill to have! If you are going into a field that frequently utilizes social media, use winter break to become familiar with LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social media platforms. Mashable is a great resource for beginners.

Solicit some help from your parents. Are you currently thinking, what? I am reading Lindsey Pollak’s book “Getting from College to Career: 90 things to do before you join the real world” and she had some great ideas of how parents can be helpful. She mentions that parents can be a great sounding board and source of support while you’re looking for a job or internship.

Her ideas of where parents could get be helpful include: reviewing assessments together, rehearsing for interviews, proofreading documents (such as resumes, cover letters, and personal statements), networking (they probably know a lot of people who know people who could possibly connect you with an informational interview, job shadow, or someone to look at your resume), and accountability (checking in with you periodically to make sure you’re sticking to your job/internship search plans).

Lindsey also highlights areas where parents should NEVER be involved. I completely agree with her! Those areas include: calling a recruiter or employer for any reason, attending a job interview or career fair with or for you, and sending out your resumes. You want to show employers that you’re independent and ready to join their company. Having mom and/or dad at your side while you’re interviewing will not send that message.

Stay tuned for next week when I introduce a few more new ideas of productive things you can do while you’re on winter break.

Photo by Nazareth College.