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5 Things to do over the summer if you don't have plans

There are only a few weeks left of the spring semester and everyone is discussing their summer plans. Some have landed internships, some will return home and resume their part-time jobs, some students will stay on campus for summer classes, while others still have no idea. If you are in the latter category, no worries! Below are 5 things you could do over the summer if you do not have anything set:

1. Take summer classes. There are many summer classes available for students to choose from, as well as summer scholarships available. Taking summer classes can help you get ahead in your degree requirements or stay on track. Classes in the summer are usually smaller and last only 4, 6, and 8 weeks. If you are not on campus, there are many online courses to choose from. If there aren’t any classes offered that are related to your major, pick up a minor! Speak with your academic advisor on which would be best for you!

2. Check out the last-minute job fairs. If you are still interested in finding an internship opportunity, there are two last-minute job fairs that you could attend. First, the Just in Time Job Fair is on April 13th in the PMU North and South Ballrooms from 10am-3pm. This job fair is open to all students in all majors. The next option to find an internship is the Hire Big 10 Plus Virtual Career Fair on April 12th. The best part about this career fair is that you don’t have to leave your apartment, dorm or lab! It is a cool way to interact with employers from the comfort of wherever you’d like. The virtual fair is free to all students that attend a Big 10 School!

3. Find a local place to shadow or volunteer. One of the biggest things recruiters look for is experience. Although you may not have a set internship for the summer, that doesn’t mean you can’t gain relevant experience. One tip is to find a local company near campus or your hometown and ask if you could job shadow for a day. This could lead to adding someone from the company to your network and possibly experiencing what it would be like to work for the company. Another tip is to volunteer for an organization that is related to your career aspirations. Getting your foot in the door, adding experience to your resume or gaining a useful connection are all steps in the right direction.

4. Utilize online workshops and certifications. Coursera offers many specialization courses to broaden your skills on specific topics. For example, if you want to learn more about Conflict Management or Data Analytics, you can take a set of online courses (4-7) from elite universities. There is a 7-day free trial available. Having more knowledge and gaining relative skills to your future career could possibly make your resume stand out to hiring managers and your future self will thank you!

5. Network. One simple word can lead to many opportunities. I’m sure you’ve been told countless times that you should build your network. The summer is the perfect time to do this! LinkedIn is a great way to find alumni that work at companies you are interested in or other professionals. Send them a chat and ask to meet for coffee to discuss their day-to-day tasks and learn about the culture of the company. It is always an advantage to know someone from a company you plan to apply to.

Even if you may not have a summer internship lined up, there are still many ways to be productive during the summer. If you need additional guidance and personalized career plan development, schedule an appointment with a Career Consultant at the CCO!

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