Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

What is Your Summer Story?

So, what have you been up to this summer?  Across all class years, I am always amazed at the diversity of your summer experiences.  Whether you’re interning, have a part time or full time job, working at summer camp, traveling, taking courses, or simply enjoying time at home, you will hear from faculty, friends, and family, “how was your summer?” “what did you do?”

These questions become an extension of “tell me about yourself” and a part of your personal story when it comes to your career aspirations.  While you are in the midst of your summer experience, now is a great time to start thinking about how you might respond to these questions and how to best articulate it.

What did you do and what did you learn from it?  Whether you worked as a life guard or worked at an accounting firm, you had responsibilities and your actions impacted others.

  • Did you have to make decisions and/or apply critical thinking?
  • Did you communicate with others, verbally or in writing?
  • Did you work on a team? What was your role? Any challenges?
  • Did you come across any adversity? How did you handle it?
  • Were you part of a global organization? What challenges and opportunities did you encounter?
  • Did you lead others? What did you learn?
  • Did you use technology? Learn a new language? Enhance skills you already have?

I imagine that you have accomplished things you are proud of, such as; traveled to foreign countries, worked in an office setting, supervised others, presented to a large group, or lived in a new city.  No matter what you did, make sure you take time to reflect on the results you achieved and how to best communicate your story, because how you spent your summer has already influenced your next steps.

Be prepared to share that story, incorporating both the hard skills and soft skills learned.  If your summer experience confirmed your career aspirations, share it!  If you learned that what you did this summer is not in your future, reflect on that and share it.  Most importantly, be authentic, but differentiate your personal brand and what makes you unique.

Need some assistance in working through your story? Set up time via Handshake with an adviser either now or when you return to campus. Also, be sure to update your Handshake profile, resume, and LinkedIn to reflect your summer experience.

We have lots of programs planned for your return this fall and are excited to welcome you back to campus soon!