By Sanya Seth
With Fall semester coming to an end, it is hard to believe how fast it has flown by. Winter break is rapidly approaching, and you may be wondering how best to spend it. Winding down and enjoying being home is perfectly acceptable, and catching up with family and friends can be the perfect way to relax. However, if you are looking to do that and something productive, look no further.
Network or Follow Up
Take the time out to connect with professionals in careers that you’re interested in or curious about. Reach out to personal connections, or ask them to connect you to anyone they know in your field of interest. Another great thing to do while you’re home for the holidays is to think back to anyone you made a connection with during your fall semester. If you built a relationship with a professional, or had a great professor, send them a thank you note or best wishes for the holiday.
Update your Resume
Using your spare time to create or update your resume is a power move. Consider adding any relevant coursework, skill, or GPA change. Perhaps you had a part-time position or internship, or participated in a club. These are great experiences and additions to your resume.
The holiday season is a great time to give back to your community! There are many volunteer opportunities out there both related and unrelated to what you might be concentrating in or intending as a career. Search for volunteer opportunities at hospitals, schools, small business, or other organizations and groups that may be aligned to your future goals, BUT don’t feel like that’s all you can do. Any experience can be valuable, not just from a skills perspective, but from a personal and community fulfillment one as well.
Shadow a Professional
If you don’t have time to take on a part-time job or intern during the winter break, find out if you can shadow an employee for a short period of time. Shadowing will give you a good understanding of a particular company’s culture, the nature of a specific role, and what a typical day’s work entails. Whether you are sure or not of your intended career path, shadowing someone in any industry can give you good insight into various jobs and help you make a more informed decision. Furthermore, if you do enjoy a particular job, you can learn more about the skills you will need to succeed on the job and how you can brush up on any needed techniques or programs.
Most importantly though, don’t forget to relax over your winter break. The time off should be used find relief from a semester packed with classes, commitments, organizations, and exams. Should you have any extra time, consider any of the above. Either way, relax, stay engaged, and do what you need for you! Good luck with exams and the last few classes! Happy holidays!