Mason Family Flash

Getting ahead by networking & volunteering

Summer break is here and your student may have plans of completing an internship, taking classes, traveling or working a summer job. Although the summer can be filled with downtime, there are a number of things your student can do to plan for the upcoming academic year.

Resume Updates
Even if your student is currently interning or working, it is never too soon to be thinking about the next job or internship. Encourage your student to spend some time updating their resume this summer and have at least one other person edit the document for content and grammatical errors. Your student can schedule an appointment to meet with University Career Services over the summer to discuss their resume with a Career Counselor, or they can visit for specific resume tips and tools.

Tip: If your student is preparing for a job search next year, encourage them to create a master resume with all of their professional, extracurricular, and volunteer opportunities. When the time comes for your student to tailor their resume for a specific position, this will save time!

Is your student interested in a particular industry and wants to learn more about what that job is like? Encourage them to identify network contacts who can provide an inside perspective on a career field. To identify people in your student’s network, University Career Services recommends thinking of the five Fs: Friends, Fellow peers and alumni, Faculty, Family, and Foundations and professional associations.

Students can cultivate relationships with network contacts by scheduling informational interviews to ask questions about their career, industry, and organization. For more information about networking, informational interviews, and for a list of sample informational interview request emails, visit

Tip: Make sure your student has a list of questions before the informational interview. This will help your student standout and be prepared to make the most of the opportunity.

Volunteering is a tremendous way for your student to give back, learn new skills, and explore future careers. Your student can develop important soft skills that employers are looking for while developing a sense of civic responsibility. If your student is interested in continuing to volunteer when they return to campus, there are several opportunities available through Social Action and Integrative Learning.

Tip: Encourage your student to be strategic with their volunteering and look for opportunities that are related to a career or field or study they want to learn more about!

We hope these tips help you provide your student with ideas and resources to make the most of the summer and get a head start on planning for next year.

Rebecca Stauffacher
Assistant Director of Family Programs
Orientation and Family Programs and Services