By Jiaxin Karen Lu, Peer for Career, Starr Career Development Center
After tackling a series of final exams, here comes summer! College students love summer because they get three months of free time which they could use for vacation, socializing with friends, or catching up on any great movies and books that they have put off during the busy academic semester. Besides rewinding and relaxing your mind and body in summer, it is also important for us to realize that summer can be a productive period which we can utilize to prepare for the upcoming fall semester, such as by taking one or two summer classes, interning at a company you like, getting more well-rounded by reading news and books daily, and researching the companies you are likely to apply to in the fall.
If you have an internship in summer, make the most of it by being a diligent worker. In addition, writing internship diaries at the end of the day will aid in the learning process. In the internship diary, make sure you capture the main responsibility you have been assigned and make sure you know the steps of completing the important tasks. Make yourself available as much as possible at work, and let the supervisor know that you are accountable and responsible to them by regularly updating your current progress on any projects you do. Essentially, make repeated efforts to show that you are an asset to them by contributing to the department to the best of your ability.
Secondly, if you happen to be juggling a part time internship and summer classes, your time management and ability to prioritize will definitely come into play. Since classes are accelerated during the summer, you will have to be on top of the materials by constantly reviewing notes and reading textbooks. Taking summer classes is a great way to learn subjects of interest that you might otherwise not have time for in the fall or spring semester.
Thirdly, summer is also a great time to get to know any companies of interest in more depth. Browse the companies and stay on top of their current events such as addition or change of service lines, involvements in the community, or expectation for the new hires. In addition, to better prepare ourselves for the fall semester, we can hone our transferable skills by attending the workshops offered by SCDC, such as Small Talk, Mastering the Job interview-Basics, Researching Companies, etc.
It’s important for us to be aware that summer is a great time for us to continuously make progress on our academic and professional journey. Taking the time to relax while still being productive in internship, work, and class prepares us better for the fall semester and will definitely give us a leg up in a competitive and fast-paced environment.