Making the Most of your Winter Break
This blog post was written by Peer Career Ambassador, Vivian Hsieh ’20
As winter break is approaching, you probably have already made plans to travel around, to do an internship, or to simply rest up for the next semester to come. However, there are some things that you can do alongside your plan to best utilize your winter break for career advancement!
If you were too busy during the semester to make professional connections, winter break will be the perfect time to do so. Simply log on to LinkedIn and reach out to people of which you would like to learn more from. These individuals can be employees from your ideal companies, or they can be alums who can introduce you to other people. Although not everyone will respond to your message, you are still doing yourself a huge favor by demonstrating your effort and putting your name out there. If you are able to get a response, you can respectfully request a phone call or a video chat. By doing so, you can start to build a long-term professional relationship that goes beyond a regular LinkedIn message.
Apply for Spring/Summer Internships
If you would like to work or intern during the Spring semester or over summer break, winter break will be the perfect time to research and apply to opportunities. Be sure to visit Handshake and look for opportunities that match your interests. You should also look into other platforms such as Glassdoor, Google, Indeed, etc. Apply to as many opportunities as possible to increase your chance and be sure to present your best self with the ample time you have throughout winter break. Review your resume and cover letter to ensure that all of your experiences are up to date and match your current career goal. Lastly, have your family or friends from home review your documents to get more recommendations.
Are there some skills such as Photoshop or Excel that you would like to learn during the semester but do not have time? Winter break will be the perfect time to pick them up as these skills can benefit you in the long wrong. There are many resources that can teach you these skills with zero to low cost. For instance, edX is a platform that offers courses from different colleges at relatively low costs. YouTube is also one great platform that offers free material from individuals who are relatively skilled. If you prefer to learn from a book, visit your local library and borrow books about different subjects. These are all great ways for you to gain knowledge of things that you do not necessarily learn during the semester.
These are just some of the activities that you can do over winter break. Whatever you do, be sure to utilize the break to your best ability, so you do not waste such precious opportunity to better yourself!