Don’t have a summer gig lined up? Or maybe you’ve secured work unrelated to your field, and want to stay mentally sharp during the next few months? Here are 10 tips for professional and career development – a few of which will even get you outdoors! And, as Dylan High, student experience coordinator for Museology reminds us:
“No matter what you do over the summer, stay active and reflective about what you have been involved in over the school year. You never know when inspiration will hit — whether you are at a workshop or up on a mountain. Make space to be creative, and have time for intentional and spontaneous reflection.”
This answer has been provided after consultation with Kelly Hoeft, academic adviser for the School of Social Work, Linda Ruffer, assistant director for the School of Social Work, and Dylan High, student experience coordinator for Museology.
- Ship’s not sailed for summer internships
The Career & Internship Center says it’s not too late to find summer internships. Don’t know where to start? Check out the career fair in the HUB on June 14.
- Temp work
Temp agencies can help you find short-term paid work, and will also help build your contacts at employers across the city.
- Plan the next
Event planning and event management skills are well sought-after, especially in the areas of non-profit work. Hone these skills by helping plan a summer festival — either by getting involved with the organization hosting the event or the participating organizations that set up booths or activities.
- Head back to summer camp
Summer camps may have opportunities to volunteer or lead activities outside of working as a camp counselor. If you’re interested in education, it’s an opportunity to hone your lesson planning, facilitation and classroom management skills.
- Join professional associations and attend workshops
This is an opportunity to learn something new and build your network. If a workshop or conference is expensive, consider volunteering for it. If your local association doesn’t have anything planned, talk with the leaders of the chapter to see how you could organize a meet-up. There are also plenty of one-day workshops or short-term courses offered by colleges, universities, and other organizations during the summer.
- Set up informational interviews
Informational interviewing — casually meeting with someone in your field without the agenda of a job offer — is a great way to learn about successful careers, gain insights into an industry and expand your network. Use LinkedIn to connect with someone, then ask them to grab coffee.
- Prepare for job hunting
Visit UW Career Services, where they can help you polish your resume, conduct a mock interview and more. Alumni can visit for free for up to two years.
- Contribute to a blog
Most of your favorite blogs will be happy to have guest contributors. Blogging will keep your writing skills in shape over the summer, get your ideas out in front of your peers, and keep you involved in your professional community.
Check out books, news articles and blogs that are not required for class but are related to your field, especially those that build your creative approach to your work.
- Stay in touch with your department
Your department is a great resource to find out about new projects, research opportunities, and resources of interest. Share what you’re reading with your department, and ask them to do the same — this is what makes us all an academic community.