Mason Family Flash

Plan ahead: Network + volunteer

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.

Resume Updates
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 is open during the summer, so they can schedule an appointment 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 they need to tailor their resume for a specific position, this will save them time! 

Is your student interested in a particular industry? Do they want to learn more about what a job in that field is like? Encourage them to identify network contacts who can provide an inside perspective. University Career Services recommends thinking of the five Fs when identifying people in your network: 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 and a list of sample informational interview request emails, visit

Tip: Encourage your student to create a list of questions before an informational interview. This will help them stand out and be prepared to make the most of the opportunity.

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 at

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!

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.

Rebecca Stauffacher
Assistant Director of Family Programs
New Student and Family Programs

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