Summer break is here and your student may be 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.
Even if your student is currently interning or working, encourage them to start thinking about their next job or internship. The summer is an excellent time for your student to update their resume and have at least one other person edit the document for content and grammatical errors. University Career Services continues to offer virtual services during the summer, so they can schedule an appointment to discuss their resume with a Career Counselor or they can visit careers.gmu.edu/students/resume-and-career-documents for specific resume tips and tools.
Tip: If your student lost their summer internship, are worried they will lose their summer internship, or is searching for career development opportunities, encourage them to visit the Job/Internship Search 2020 FAQs.
There are several at-home networking strategies you can use. Talk to your faculty about your career interests, find Mason alumni on LinkedIn, use the peer-to-peer messaging feature in Handshake, invite a former supervisor to a video chat coffee break or participate in virtual career events.
Students can cultivate relationships with network contacts by scheduling informational interviews to ask questions about their career, industry, and organization. For more information and a list of sample informational interview request emails, visit careers.gmu.edu/students/find-job-or-internship/networking.
Tip: Encourage your students to prepare for virtual interviews and virtual events. In our current global climate, it is important to practice your virtual professional presence. Record your responses to common interview questions using InterviewSteam and send your interview link to email@example.com, a friend or mentor for feedback. Students can also schedule a live video practice interview appointment through Handshake.
Volunteering is an excellent way for your student to give back, learn new skills, and explore future careers. It provides them with an opportunity to develop important soft skills that employers are looking for while developing a sense of civic responsibility. There are several opportunities available through Social Action and Integrative Learning (SAIL) at sail.gmu.edu/get-involved/find-service-opportunities. Many organizations are still seeking interns and volunteers for this summer. Use your own judgment around health and safety and ask community organizations about additional virtual opportunities.
Tip: Your student should be strategic with their volunteering. Encourage them to look for opportunities related to a specific career, field, or study they want to learn more about! Email SAIL for assistance finding a site is in line with your future goals at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We hope these tips help you provide your student with ideas and resources to make the most of their summer and get a head start planning for next year.
Associate Director of Family Programs
New Student and Family Programs
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