Enjoy Summer AND Make the Most of It
After emerging from the demands of the academic year (congrats to new grads!), we’re sure you’re looking for a chance to catch your breath. That being said, the summer is an ideal time to establish strong habits and lay the groundwork that will serve you well going forward regarding your professional career.
Beyond finding time to have some fun, here are some quick thoughts & ideas to consider:
- Maximize Your Work Experience. You’ve landed a role, now be sure to make the most of it. Learn & apply as much as you can, be inquisitive & open to other ideas, pick up additional skills, get exposure to different functional areas and projects, and (to the best of your current abilities) build an early track record & reputation of getting things done. Network as well as you can across your project team and the entire company to make connections and learn more about other aspects of the business.
- Integrate Into the Community. Take advantage of what your community has to offer to gain access to events & experiences and further connect with other students, new grads, professionals, and companies. In the Bay Area, join the Bay Area Summer Interns group on Facebook (link) and attend events like Internapalooza (link). If you’re in Boston, tie into what the TechGen has to offer (link).
- Build Your Network. Along the way, be sure to use LinkedIn to build out your professional network. It can be a huge asset down the road as a resource for finding new opportunities. Your established network can also socially signal more strongly to potential employers when they’re doing diligence on you. Extend personalized invitations “in the moment” when the connection is fresh and most likely to be accepted (versus defaulting to LinkedIn’s standard template). It sends a much stronger message that you care about the relationship going forward.
- Continue to Expand Your Body of Work. In addition to your work experience, consider finding time to work on a side/personal project in an area you’re looking to expand your knowledge and skills. It’s another channel for continuing to learn & grow and will further strengthen your story and resume. Good ideas for doing so can be found in our “Your Roadmap for Landing a Role at a Startup” (link). If you’re a developer, you can find summer hackathons (online and in-person) here: link.
- Learn More About Yourself. A career is a journey. Come out of summer with a stronger idea of what you’re most interested in doing long term, both from a role and type of company standpoint. While you don’t need to have all the answers, a more refined view will help you focus on the right types of opportunities where you’ll likely be a stronger fit going forward.
- Update Your Resume (if returning to school). While it’s still fresh, update your resume to reflect what you did over the summer (include spring term accomplishments if it has been some time). For work experiences, highlight your role & responsibilities, the technology or tools that you used, along with project outcomes or impact that you had. With companies hitting campuses earlier & earlier, go into the fall term ready to engage.
In the meantime, find time to enjoy yourself and have fun. After all, it is summer!