The months you have off from college this semester are a great time to gain valuable real-world experience in preparation for life after graduation. Follow these tips to make the most out of your college breaks:
Tip #1: Intern.
Interning lets you pursue an interest while learning important skills. It is also a great way to meet people who share your interests. It’s an opportunity to start networking and could result in some long-lasting friendships. Internships look great on your resume and give you something to talk about in job interviews and in professional settings. Even if you don’t enjoy your internship, you’ll still be gaining vital skills and knowledge. You’ll also get a better idea as to what type of work and work environment you prefer. You may even discover that you’d like to explore a different field entirely or want to focus on something more specific within your chosen field.
Tip #2: Network.
The summer or winter break is a great time to network. Look for opportunities to network through people you meet at your internship, at events, or at social gatherings. The people you meet may help you in the future with your career and are a good source of advice on how to achieve your goals. Be sure to listen to people of all ages and varying points of view. Breaks offers you more free time to network so take advantage of it. Always be on your toes and be ready; you never know who you might meet or who might help you along the way.
# 3: Explore.
If possible, why not seek out an internship in a place you have always imagined living after college. You’ll have the opportunity to check out that area and see if you like what it has to offer. Not only that, learning to live in a new place will push you outside your comfort zone and make you more independent. Living in a new place will also allow you to build a professional network in that marketplace that you can reach out to after college.
Tip # 4: Learn.
Be on the lookout for events that can further your knowledge of the professional field you wish to pursue. For instance, Touro College had an annual event this past summer in the Flatiron Building called Tech Tuesday. This workshop offered the knowledge needed to plan, manage, and execute complex IT projects. It was completely free and worth checking out.
Don’t let your college breaks slip away. Use the time to: explore your interests, learn new skills and experience new places. It’s probably the one time in your life when you’ll have the most flexibility to do so. Use the time to gain a better understanding of what you want to do after you graduate. Take the time to find out what career excites you the most and to meet people who will help you achieve your goals. You may even discover where you might want to live.
Have fun and good luck!