Monday, December 10, 2012

Working in a Winter Wonderland

Your last final ends. You've already packed up your belongings and can’t wait to get home. Your friend drops you off at the airport. The crying baby behind you and the deodorant-less man to your right on the plane do not even faze you. You’re going home for the holidays! Winter break. Movies, cookies, friends you haven’t seen in awhile, extended family gatherings, and no schoolwork. Nothing to do but relax.

Fast-forward three weeks. You've caught up on every TV show you managed to miss out on during the semester, you successfully creeped on all 859 of your Facebook friends, and posted some funny tweets that got a favorite or two; you are now 15 pounds heavier and you’re sitting on your coach ‘relaxing.’ This relaxation turns into a WTH moment as you realize there are still two weeks left of break and you have nothing to do. Your friends start to head back to school, your family goes back to work, and you sit on that dang couch you've sunken into at this point, watching reruns of Friends to pass the time, wiping off the cookie crumbs on your chest. There aren't even any more cookies.

Don’t let this be you. Relax, yes. Give up all priorities and motivation, along with basic hygiene practices in an effort to relax, no. At least have a backup plan to help pass some inevitable downtime. Maybe a household project? A work out plan? Better yet, how about some preparation for the next year? Last resort it may be, but it could really set a solid foundation for the next semester. 
  • Update your resume. 
  • Create a LinkedIn profile. 
  • Order some business cards.
  •  Look up some possible job offers or internship opportunities that interest you.

Try and hit the ground running when you come back to UT! I hope everyone has an incredible Holiday break, and good luck on finals! I’ll be bothering you with more blog posts in 2013!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Make the Most of Your Semester Break

You have finished with your finals and all you want to do is to go home for the holidays, sleep in and enjoy being with your family.  Pretty soon it is January 2, 2013, and now what?  You have 20 days until classes resume.  Here are a few suggestions for you to make this your most productive semester break ever!

Job Shadow – Make some calls to see if you can arrange a job shadowing experience.  Job shadowing is a great way to gain knowledge and insight into a specific career field.

Informational Interview – Conducting an informational interview has proven to be very successful in gathering information about a particular career field and also expands your network.  Check out our sample questions and how to go about finding opportunities.

Network – When you attend family gatherings and parties, prepare a two minute summary about yourself so that if someone asks you if you are looking for an internship or what you plan to do with your life after graduation, you can give a summary of your career goals and interests.  There are many possible networking connections through family and friends.

Internship/Job Search -Take some time to look at HIRE-UT to check out possible internships and jobs for next semester.  Look at the dates for career and internship fairs and make a note of them in your calendar.  Now is the time to plan some effective networking strategy.

Resume/Cover Letter – If you don’t have a resume prepared, create one!  The Office of Career Services has some excellent resources available on the Job Search Toolbox portion of our website.  Spend some time writing your resume and once you return to campus in January, you can come to our office for a resume review.  We have walk-in hours Monday through Thursday from 3-5 pm beginning the first week of classes.
So give yourself the best gift possible – and invest some time in your career planning!

Enjoy the winter break!