Although it’s hard to believe, winter is finally behind us and we can look forward to the (short lived) spring season on the Hill. With this passage of time comes the hopes & worries for the coming future, namely in the form of summer plans. As a sophomore and an intern in the Career Planning Center, I have come up with a few points of advice for students who are either stressed or confused (maybe even both) about what’s to come with regard to summer 2015. These tips originate from my own personal strategies and from what I’ve heard in the office, whether it be from students or career counselors.
- Of course this is kind of a no-brainer, but with the combined stress of finals season and the closure of many application deadlines, successful prioritization of tasks becomes pivotal. Take a step back and ask yourself; how would you like to spend your time this summer? This may not be an easy question to ask, but it is a necessary one to at least bring up if you want to take initiative and close out the rest of the year right.
- If you are looking for an internship and haven’t had much luck yet – keep searching!! Even if you don’t find one for this summer, you’ve increased your awareness of the opportunities out there and have also probably improved your application materials. This will only benefit you in the long run!
- I came into this semester with the hope of having a concrete plan for my summer by midterm season, and as of April 1st, 2015, I still have no idea what I’m doing. It definitely isn’t ideal, but I have created a bunch of plan b’s and c’s for the summer, and you should do the same thing!
- Stay open-minded
- As I just said, it’s important to be open to advice and constructive criticism in the internship search process. Be open to multiple possibilities, and try not to obsess on one potential summer opportunity.
- Creating backup plans will ease your mind and ultimately give you something to lean on if your initial plan doesn’t work out. For example, if I don’t find an intern position, I will work in my hometown and take classes at a nearby college to set myself up for an easier junior year.
- Things like taking classes elsewhere, volunteering, shadowing alumni or finding some kind of interesting summer program to participate in will definitely benefit you, so don’t be dispirited if you don’t find an internship.
- Make use of your resources
- Since the year is quickly coming to a close, the stresses of finding something to keep yourself productive this summer are increasing rapidly. At Holy Cross, there are a bunch of people and places to confer if you are in need of an outside opinion or advice concerning a plan that you may have.
- The Career Planning Center (Hogan 203) should be your first stop if you are in the search process for an opportunity this summer (or anytime for that matter). A simple visit to drop-in hours (M-F, 1-4pm) is guaranteed to be helpful, regardless of how far you are in the process of preparing application materials.
- Know that it never hurts to apply, even if the deadline seems like it may be too close or if you think you don’t fulfill the position’s requirements. You never know what a specific employer is going to think about you!
- Utilize ‘free’ time
- If you are reading this, it is probably after Easter break so I just hope what I’m about to say applies to you. When you are relaxing at home, devote a couple of hours a day to researching positions or sending out applications! General productivity can’t hurt, especially when you have the time off from attending classes and taking care of immediate assignments.
- Don’t stress yourself out though; Easter break is a time to spend with family and get off campus for a bit. Nonetheless, taking care of extracurricular tasks like internship applications during this long weekend would definitely be beneficial.
The year has flown by, and it will be no time until you reflect back on reading this blog post sometime in late May or June and reflect on how much it taught you (just kidding, maybe not … who knows). If you feel inspired or have any questions then I hope you find your way to the Career Planning Center sometime ( if you haven’t already ) to familiarize yourself with the office and what it can provide you!