Quick Career Tips for Spring Break
Goodbye winter, hello spring break! Every student can use one of these tips to get in some quick career preparation in their free time, whether you’re taking it easy or working through the week.
Career Coaches suggest that all students use their passenger travel time perusing Handshake resources like Vault Guides, which includes unbiased, insider information and data about companies, industries and specific jobs. First- and second-year students can also finish up Careers 101 (now online and available in the Career Center’s Blackboard, under My Organizations), which opens the door to one-on-one appointments.
If you’re ready to explore within your academy, take advantage of these academy-specific tips from our coaches.
Arts, Media and Marketing week starts April 3-6: register now to save your spot. The week will include resume reviews, internship search help, and networking with alums and employers. Use this week to prepare to make an impression in advance.
Career coach Natasha OrtizFortier suggests doing informational interviews to prepare and explore your job options. Whether you are in Baltimore, your hometown, or on vacation, you can search for local alumni via GoHopOnline who have similar interests or are doing interesting work. Send them a quick note of introduction and express an interest in learning more about what they do, and you may have a chance to meet in person. This will also help you perfect your 30-second personal elevator pitch for AMM week.
Spring break should allow for a more flexible schedule. Set aside a small amount of time to work on your internship or job search to-do list, says career coach Sarah Paal. Potential items to accomplish:
- Conduct research via Vault Guides, Glass Door, Book of Lists and other Handshake Resources
- Polish your resume. Consulting examples are posted in the Career Center’s section of Blackboard
- Craft your cover letter
- Cultivate your network
If you’re at home, take the time to reconnect! Schedule interviews with professionals in your hometown, or reconnect with former teachers, mentors, or supervisors. They serve as great professional references.
Spend some time building your network, regardless of how far you are in your degree. Start by signing up for the Spring Finance Networking Reception (March 30, 7 pm, Gilman Hall Atrium), where you can network with students from across campus.
Then, spend time on LinkedIn looking for and joining finance-related groups. For example: do you belong to the national or local Association for Financial Professionals groups, follow the American Society for Women Accountants, or read up on what’s going on in Finance Club? Add to their discussions, and look for relevant tips from professionals who were once first-time job seekers.
If you’re staying in the city, use your spare time to travel to East Baltimore and meet with professors in the Bloomberg School of Public Health whose research relates to your interests. They are a great start for building a network, finding opportunities, and considering work or further education opportunities.
This is also a great time to build bridges that will help you reach your dreams. Paul Binkley, director of strategic career development, suggests sending “fan mail” to the author of one of your favorite research papers, books, articles, or other related media. Use that as a way to possibly start a discussion about their interests. You’d be surprised who will answer a sincere email!
Mark your calendars for Nonprofit Career Week (April 17-20). More details are coming soon, but the week will include alumni resume reviews, sessions on fundraising for nonprofits, and a Just-in-Time Job Fair.
Until then, you can start by looking around you. Paul Binkley, director of strategic career development, suggests asking your parents about their own networks. “Where do family members, their friends, or former colleagues work?” he says. “They could be great connections for you now.” Then, look up some of your “dream” organizations or offices on LinkedIn, and see what related companies LinkedIn suggests. Think about the projects those organizations work on, and write 3-5 sentences about how your research, class projects or experiences have prepared you to complete those projects.
Practice your interview skills on InterviewStream, says STEM career coach Andrea Wiseman. Your technical skills are important, but employers also say written and verbal communication skills, leadership, the ability to work in a team, and problem solving are their top five most-desired skills from candidates. Check out some of these practice engineering interview questions and think through them from your perspective–what concrete example of experience can you provide from your research projects and lab work?
If you’re in Baltimore for break, test your communication skills and your elevator pitch by networking at Robotics Day: March 22, 8 am to 3 pm.