There are many options you might consider taking advantage of before you return to campus in the fall. In addition to the ideas below, keep an eye out for events and opportunities near you. If you’re not sure what to do or how to approach things, schedule an appointment with one of our advisors.
Explore New Things
Reach out to someone who works in an industry of interest and ask to shadow them for a day or two (or even a few hours). Use this opportunity to learn more about what it’s like to work in a certain industry and/or profession and about a company culture. It could help narrow your interests moving forward and is something you can put on your resume.
Teach Yourself Something
Have you always wanted to become a better public speaker or learn Photoshop? The summer is a great chance to take an online course (many are free!), take some time to teach yourself a new skill and/or work on a personal project.
Connect With People
Conduct Informational Interviews
If you’re not sure what you’d like to do when you graduate, or you’re just feeling overwhelmed by your options, reaching out to people is a great way to get the inside scoop on an area or industry you might be interested in. Reaching out to faculty, alumni, family, friends, or upperclassman through resources like The Meliora Collective can help you understand what certain career paths are like. This also gives you a way to seek out advice as you begin to build your professional network. Do some research on what they do, take it seriously, and be proactive in facilitating conversations. Check out our page on information interviewing for more information.
Connect with Faculty and/or Mentors
Leverage faculty and other professional mentors from your on and off-campus network. Seek opportunities to contribute to projects they are working on throughout the summer and following academic year. Schedule times to “pick their brain” and learn more about their projects, professional background, and general insights as you formulate your career goals.
Community service is not only a good thing to do for our society, but can also be a great way to build skills like leadership, teamwork, and communication, all of which are competencies employers are seeking.
You could also consider how to turn a volunteering experience into something more relevant to what you’re interested in the long-term. For instance, if you’ve volunteered at a local animal shelter but are interested in marketing, why not ask if you could help take photos for their social media page? Or help publicize an event?
Intern or Research
Gaining out of the classroom experience is certainly crucial over your time at Rochester, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be a formalized internship or research position. Browse through Handshake for internship postings to get familiarized with what’s out there and know what you’ll need to be competitive either now or in the future.
Consider proactively reaching out to places/employers of interest (could be close to home) to ask if they would consider taking an intern or if you could assist on a short-term project, even if they don’t have a posting. It doesn’t’t hurt to ask! If you don’t land your “dream internship” this summer, don’t fret, there are other ways to start building your resume, skills, and network so that you’re more prepared for the following summers.
Get a Summer Job
Working as a camp counselor, lifeguard, or a retail job may not seem “career related” but in reality many summer jobs help to build competencies and transferable skills employers look for. Utilize Snag-a-job.com for part-time hourly or seasonal jobs.
Prepare For Fall
Update Your Resume
Showcase all that you accomplished over the summer by reflecting on your experiences and what competencies you gained or strengthened by updating your resume. You may want to login to Handshake or call the Greene Center to set up an appointment with an adviser to discuss your summer experiences, review your resume, and develop action steps upon your return to campus as well.
Prepare for Early Fall Recruiting Deadlines
Some industries, including banking, consulting, engineering, and technology, recruit for full-time and summer internship opportunities early in the fall semester. Take the summer to develop your list of target companies, identify application timelines, and connect with alumni and other professionals that work in those industries/firms.