Planning for Summer

By: Rachel

It’s getting to that point in the semester where you might be starting to think about what you’ll be doing this summer, if you don’t have plans already. For some who are graduating in May, you’re searching for your first full-time job, while others may be hoping for an internship or co-op to gain experience. Maybe you have plans to study abroad or do some traveling of your own.  

Summer can be a great season of growth, but there can also be great pressure on students to nail down the perfect plan. Some students dream of crossing adventures off their bucket list and seizing the break from school as a chance to take time for their personal life. Others are hoping to develop professionally through some career-related experience or an internship. For some, summer is also a time to get back on track financially and develop new skills or take some classes towards their major.

The first step to nailing down your summer plans is to know yourself and what you want/need to get out of this summer. While I don’t mean to stress you out (right now let’s just make it through the semester!), some plans won’t come together overnight. Putting in a little work now to the extent you are able can really save you a lot of stress down the road. For this post, I’m going to be addressing those who are looking for a job or internship and providing just a few tips I have to help ease the burden of what can be an overwhelming task.

One of the earliest things you need to do is determine your priorities. These will look different for everyone, so consider what type of field you’re aiming for, the amount of hours you’d like to work, and the geographic area you’d like to live in. Also reflect on which factors hold the most importance to you. Maybe you’re considering multiple fields but you are limited to a small geographic area. Or perhaps you are open to how many hours you work and whether or not the experience is paid but you are set on a specific field. Setting these priorities will help limit and guide your search.

Now that you know what you’re looking for, it’s time to start looking; the question is where? There are countless options for discovering job opportunities, but I want to highlight a few you might not have thought of.

The first option I like to recommend is GoldPASS powered by Handshake. This is a vetted job board available to University of Minnesota students. Other general online job boards might not provide the kind of postings you’re looking for if you’re searching for a very specific field or location.  

Image: black sunglasses on beach sand with water in background
Text: Planning for Summer

A few other options to consider:

  • This nonprofit job board provided by the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits includes full time, part time, paid and unpaid internship, and volunteer positions across the state.
  • Don’t be afraid to reach out to people in your network to see if they know of any opportunities. It can be a little nerve-wracking—I know this is something that makes me feel a little hesitant—but after all, this is the point of having a network. Contact past employers, family members, mentors, peers, etc.  You might be surprised by which connection leads to a position. This can be done in person, via email, through LinkedIn, or over other platforms; it’s just essential you communicate appropriately and respectfully. One benefit of finding opportunities through your network is your contact will be able to give you a better idea of company culture, environment, and your fit within the organization than a simple Internet search.
  • If job posting sites aren’t yielding the results you’d hoped for, do some research on your own of companies you think you’d like to work for.  Dig a little deeper and see if there are any career opportunities posted through their website. You will likely find a contact you could reach out to as to whether or not they’d be willing to take you on.  This calls for a letter of inquiry; if you need guidance crafting one, look here.
  • Contact people within your major or department of interest. There might even be an employer relations or internship coordinator within your program who is connected with numerous organizations looking to hire students. Maybe there’s a professor who conducts research in an area you’re particularly interested in. Initiate a conversation, because chances are, this professor has some connections in the industry. Another option might be working for a professor directly, which can open the door to many fruitful contacts in the future.

The biggest tip I’d like to leave you with is keep your mind open. You might follow along these steps: reflecting on your goals, determining your priorities, and conducting your search, and it may seem like all you run into are closed doors. If and when that happens, I encourage you to widen your perspective a bit. While it’s important to know your limits, it can be healthy to take on a position that didn’t seem perfect at first. Sometimes those positions are the ones that help you grow and provide the most guidance for your future career. Wherever you end up, give it your best effort and be open to the lessons that are sure to follow.

Best, Rachel

Of Possible Interest:
Building Your Resume – all our blog posts on the topic
Do More with your Summer
Internships; Boost Your Career in College; Ace the Job Search – our Pinterest boards filled with resources & articles

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Photo Source: Unsplash | Ethan Robertson

Ways to Use Career & Internship Services During the Summer

By: Lexi

The end of the semester is approaching very fast, which means one thing, summer. It is the time of year everyone looks forward to (especially us Minnesotans). It is a time of sun, lake days, boating, swimming, going to the beach, picnics, baseball games, and maybe even a spontaneous road trip. But it is also a time of work to make money to pay for college. It should also be a time to keep up with your student life. I know more school-related tasks is the last thing that you want to do this summer, but it is a great time to get ahead or catch up. Our office is a great way to keep your life on track this summer. And yes, we are open!

Use Career During Summer

Have you graduated or are you a soon-to-be graduate? I know what you are probably thinking, I have to grow up? What happened to nap time and coloring books? The time has come for you to grow into an adult and we can help. Come to our office for assistance with planning for graduate or professional school if you are wanting to continue your education. We also can help out with the tough essays you need to write to get into grad school, like personal statements! If you work with one of our counselors, you’ll be sure to leave with a freshly polished personal statement. If grad school is not in your future, but a professional job is, we can assist with that, too! We are here for every step of your job search. We also can help you revamp that resume and cover letter.

Are you an undergraduate student? Our office can help you also! We would love to help update or start a new resume and cover letter. Check out our handbook for tips if you are making a new resume! We can also show you how to work and update GoldPASS or LinkedIn. Your online image is extremely important since technology and the internet is so popular with our generation. Employers are checking these websites so it is a good idea to keep them as appropriate and professional as possible. We can also help you find a job, internship, or volunteer work during your few months off! Or for when you come back to school in the Fall. Another good idea is to take career assessments if you are still unsure about what you want to major in, what career path you would like to take, or if you would just like to learn more about yourself. We offer the Meyers-Briggs Inventory, the Strengths Quest Inventory, and the Strong Interest Inventory.

Are you a new freshman or transfer student? If you are new to the UMD campus then you should definitely take the time to learn what the Career and Internship Services office does! Stop into our office (Solon Campus Center 22) during your Orientation day and meet the staff or get advice for the upcoming Fall semester. You can also take assessments to figure out what major(s) at UMD would fit you best. This will also help you decide which classes to take, because we know how stressful it can be to figure out what classes to take when you have no idea what you want to do. Already have Orientation and are second-guessing the path you’re starting, the career counselors are available for in-person, phone, and Google Hangout appointments all summer.

Our summer hours will be Monday-Friday, 8am-4:30pm. We’ll have counselor appointments available and possibly limited resume review drop-in services. We can conduct appointments in-person, over the phone, or even via Google Hangout. Are you an alum? Don’t forget you can use our services for free, forever.

Of Possible Interest: 

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My Summer Checklist

By: David

As the beautiful summer awaits us in seven days (eeeekkk!), I am excited to complete my checklist over the next couple of months as I transition into my senior year. Summer is always a time for joy, bliss, sweat, travel, play, hibernation, and of course, FOOD!  Aside from the barbecues, summer jobs, and swimming parties let’s not forget that it is also the only time of the year to be extremely productive (or not). After brainstorming much with my fellow colleagues and counselors, we generated this list. Check it out!

Updating LinkedIn/Resume

During the academic year, I am always TOO busy to update my LinkedIn account and resume. The process requires a lot of time and tedious work because it is heavily detail oriented. With some breathing room, I’ll finally have the time to update and remaster both my LinkedIn and resume. As a college student, I find it crucial to constantly update resumes and LinkedIn after the end of the academic year. It gives you a chance to reflect upon the academic year and add any new experiences, coursework, or activities that may help enhance your resume/LinkedIn. In addition to the basic one page resume, it’s important to craft a master resume as well. A master resume is a resume that contains all of the different experiences, extracurriculars, honors, coursework, and pretty much everything else. It’s convenient to have a master resume because different jobs will require different skills and because of that it requires a lot of resume editing when applying to the job itself. With a master resume in hand already, it is really convenient to switch experiences in and out from the application resume to your master resume. With that being said, the first thing on my list this summer will be to polish up my master resume and LinkedIn profile!

Palm tree

Researching for Grad Schools

Realistically speaking, as a Communication and Psychology double major my chances are higher for a career with a graduate degree. Currently, my end goal is to work in a college institution whether it be staff or faculty.  With this, it’s important I have a good idea where I want to go for grad school once I’m ready. On my down time during the summer, I’ll be looking into schools across the nation to figure out where I potentially would want to go. There are many side factors other than the program itself I’ll be looking into when doing my research. I’ll have to research the city of the college itself, the financial costs of the program, and the population and it’s culture. Overall, I’m the type of person where I need to pave a path for myself for the future and grad school is something that is crucial for my future success which is why it makes it to number two on my list!

Studying for the GRE

As much as I dislike standardized testing,  the GRE is a must for many of the programs I will probably be applying for. I can recall the early Saturday morning for ACT testing in high school, it was brutal! As for the GRE, it will be even longer and more intense! But I just hope my stomach doesn’t make any whale calls again this time around. On a serious note, the GRE will require an immense amount of studying in order to score well. A portion of my summer will be dedicated to studying for this so ever delightful exam. To sum up, as much as I don’t want to study over the summer it will be inevitable for me if I want to do well in the future.

Preparing for APAA

As the president for Asian Pacific American Association next year, I have a ton of planning to do over the course of the summer. I have always had the passion and dedication to help the organization and members flourish as a whole. A good chunk of my summer will be dedicated to planning events and activities, and discussing ideas and issues with my co-board members. I’m extremely excited for what’s in store for the following academic year and honored to serve as the main representative for my fellow peers! Throughout the summer, my goal is to research more about Asian American history so that I can facilitate future educational discussions with my organization. In addition to my role as president, I plan on leading a number of individual workshops throughout the year. As I only have a two years left of my undergraduate career, I feel that it is time for me to pass on my knowledge and wisdom to my fellow peers. All in all, even though preparing for the organization isn’t at the top of my list, I know that I will put the majority of my time and effort into this organization because of my passion and excitement for the following year.

There you have it, my extensive checklist for the summer. As much as I hate staying indoors during the summer, I find it interesting how I will function throughout the summer as I need internet for a chunk of my goals. In addition, I know that I will be very tempted to slack off and relax or get out in the sun and enjoy the weather. It will indeed be a busy summer as I transition into senior year, but I am actually looking forward to it! In the previous summers, I have been the biggest bum, but I have a very good feeling for what’s in store for this summer. As I wrap up my final blog post for the semester, I hope you all gained some sort of insight from this. Good luck on finals, enjoy the weather, and have fun to you all as summer is right around the corner! Safe travels until next time and as always, stay gold my friends!

Of Possible Interest: 

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Your Summer of Transition

By: Hayley

So I hate to admit this but my years here at UMD are quickly coming to an end and once this school year is over the only thing standing between me a grad school will be summer! Three tiny months before I begin the daunting task of graduate school. So to put my mind at ease and to help me make the most of this summer I have done a little research and would like to share what I have found with you.

Grad School Summer

Some of the articles I read had some generic things that most people think of doing but others had some really interesting ideas that I hadn’t thought of. Here is a compiled list of some of the things I plan to do along with some other things as well.

  • Relax: This is probably obvious and I’m sure that, like me, you have been told many times how stressful grad school is and how busy you will be. So it makes sense that this tip popped up in most of these articles. However, I think, this is a little easier said than done for most people. I mean I am looking forward to grad school but I am also nervous about starting a new program, in a new school and a new city. I know myself well enough to know that I will be thinking about this all summer and it may prevent me from relaxing but I am going to do my best to make sure I push that to the back of my mind and really relax.
  • Get a Summer Job or Internship: This is something that I am really having a hard time with. In my experience, it is always hard to find someone who is willing to hire you just for the summer and once the summer begins I will be a college graduate, which eliminates half of the possibilities. I personally think that looking for an internship would be your best bet and will also give you some good experience for your resume; you may not have the time to take on an internship outside of your grad program after you begin.
  • Travel: Now, personally, I can’t afford to go much of anywhere but for those of you who can, I would take this time and do it. It also may give you some valuable experience before you begin school.
  • Spend Time With Friends and Family: As I mentioned earlier, most people say they don’t have much free time once they start school. Make the most of this time by spending it with your friends, who got you through your undergrad, or your family because once you start grad school it may seem like you have dropped off the face of the earth. Also warn them that might happen so they are not shocked when you stop returning their calls once your program starts.
  • Have Fun: This can be an number of things from reading to playing video games, watching TV or surfing the internet, or spending time outside. Do what you want to do while you can. Reading and watching TV are some of my favorite things to do and I haven’t really had a whole lot of time for them during school so I plan on doing a ton of it while I do have some time during the summer.

Hopefully some of these tips are helpful to you and there are a bunch I left out. Below are links to the articles I found helpful.

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Do More with Your Summer

By: Whitney

Summer is a time for getting out and enjoying sunshine, fresh air, and a break from schoolwork. It is always great to refresh and recuperate after a long semester of classes, tests, and finals. Have you ever thought of what else you can do with your summer to try and either jump-start your career or just get ahead in classes?

Do more with your summer

Many college students get a job to try and save up a little cash for the upcoming year. This is a great idea especially since it allows most students to be able to work less during the school year or possibly not at all so they can focus on course work. The best way to choose a job is by trying to find something that relates to your chosen field of study. For instance, I am going to school to be an elementary teacher. Summer would be a great time for me to try and find a job working with younger students. A job pertaining to your major or career path will be a great resume builder and provide experience that employers are looking for.

Internships are also great opportunities! Think it’s too late? Think again! Although ideally you would want to have an internship by now, there are still employers who are hiring interns for the summer! Check out sites like GoldPASS to see what is still available for you!

As I stated in a previous blog post, volunteering can do wonders for your resume! If you can’t find a job or an internship in your field, there are many places that are always looking for volunteers. Even if it is volunteer work that seems simple, it’s still rich with opportunities and experiences. Employers are not looking for just paid experience. They will take as much experience as they can get, paid or unpaid.

I know that as school is wrapping up, more school is the last thing that you want to do, but summer is a great time to get a few credits out of the way! There are many courses that are offered during the summer that can help you get back on track if you changed your major, help you get ahead so you have an easier load in the future or graduate early, or maybe retake a class that you were not happy with your grade. Most colleges offer online classes if you are not staying in the area which are easy to make work with your work schedule because you can do them whenever you have time.

Summer is also a great time to work on updating your social media sites and your resume! These are both necessities that tend to be pushed to the side because of schoolwork and other outside of class activities, but you tend to have a lot more time in the summer to give them the attention that they need. Updating your resume or documenting what your summer job entails on your running document are both great ideas so that you do not struggle to remember what you did or how many people you worked with when the time comes to submit your resume. Resumes are not the only things that need to be updated, however. Students should also be working to update their LinkedIn profiles as well. Summer is a great time to really sit down and develop your profile and make connections with a lot of different people, and do a little research on different companies you are interested in.

Summer is a great time for fun and games and should be relaxing, but it is also important that you are making the most of your time! You wouldn’t waste 3 months while in school so don’t waste your summer either! You don’t need to do everything on this list, but pick one or two things and start there. These things will make you more marketable and help you get ahead in your career.

Does anyone have plans for this summer? Please share what you plan to do to do more with your summer!

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Photo by: Courtney Kinnander