Use your spring break to advance your professional development

If you’re like most of us, spring break might seem like a distant mirage, enticing you and luring you away from important thoughts — like handling all those midterms and essays.

Spring break is great because it gives us time to take a breath and to stop running around.  So yes, we encourage you to get the proper rest you need, especially if you’ve been pulling a bunch of late nighters, and just take the time to relax for a bit.

But don’t let yourself get too carried away because spring break could be used for much more important things — things you could really use down the road.

Rather than fighting the crowds at South Beach and partying everyday, we encourage you to use this upcoming break to focus on other subjects and get a leg up.  Take advantage of the time off to search for internships and jobs, or get ahead in your school work.

It can be very challenging for Panthers to find time to job search during the semester. After all, we’re all busy with academics, athletics, co-curricular activities, volunteer work, internships, and a busy campus social life.

Spring break is an especially pivotal time since many summer internship applications close around this time of year, and for students who are not local to Miami, arrangements might need to be made now in order to successfully transition into a summer job.

Therefore, the semester break can be an ideal time to ramp up the job search, and these are just a few of our suggestions to help you take the steps you need to land that good summer or post-grad job.

Target the locations where you would like to work. You especially want to try to find jobs where you can put your classroom knowledge to work and get the hands-on experience you need to get a job after graduation.

Once you have a location of interest, search for job openings in that location and apply to as many opportunities as possible. If the location is far from your school or home, let employers know that you are available during break for an interview or even an informal meeting.

Since many jobs will not yet be advertised, it is equally important to identify employers in your fields of interest even if you haven’t seen any job openings yet

There’s also the option of networking with your fellow Panther Alumni. One of your greatest resources is the use of an alumni association. Through an alumni association, you as a job seeker can connect with valuable tools and resources that can help you develop a more successful outcome to job searching.

The Internet is also a great place to hunt for jobs. Do a search for what jobs are in demand at the moment and figure out if you meet the criteria for any of the ones that stand out to you.

There’s also social media. You’ve probably heard time and time again that you need to have a LinkedIn account, so why not use your free time over spring break to finally create or update a LinkedIn profile.

LinkedIn is a great networking site, but it also send you email alerts to receive notifications of recommended jobs, you can connect with professionals, conduct a research on the whereabouts of the company, the hiring process and what people have to say about that organization, and so much more.

For those who work full-time already and don’t get a real week off, use what would be your regular class time to write that final paper, get ahead on your assignments, and go over your notes or ingest required readings.

If you’ve already got your plans for the future sorted and your school work is in top shape, consider taking this time to be productive for yourself rather than giving in to laziness.  

Read a book.  Set aside half an hour to go over the news from different outlets every day.  Work on your combos if you are a competitive gamer. If you are a fellow writer, submit your short stories and poetry to publications, or work on that novel that has been sitting on your hard drive for years.  Whatever it is that inspires and motivates you, do it.

Being mindful of your studies and your future career is just as important as improving the parts of you that have led you this far to begin with.  

There is no excuse for those who retire to their bedrooms and do nothing with their week away from university responsibilities.  Productivity is key, even during down time, since it can be beneficial in finding ways to stay grounded in the present and maximize one’s future.


Photo by Jessica Lewis on Unsplash.

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