Career development at the Thanksgiving table? YES!

 

In the very near future, most UConn students will be headed home – or at least away from campus – for the Thanksgiving break. While it will afford time to relax and recharge before finals, it’s also a surprisingly perfect time to work on networking your way into a job or summer internship. Really.

 

First, think about the time you’ll have. While you’re at home on Monday and Tuesday of the break, most working folks will be, well, at work. It’s the perfect time to visit that company you’ve applied to – or even stop by last summer’s workplace to reconnect with former colleagues and keep your candidacy on their radar.

 

What’s that? You’ve never had an internship? No problem. Even if you’re a first year student with little experience, you might be able to get some traction with your local government for an opportunity next summer. Municipalities across Connecticut (and around the country) have local government offices and departments that hire summer workers. Students in technical fields such as engineering, biology, chemistry, or environmental science should visit their town engineering office or water treatment facility, introduce themselves, and ask about summer hiring. Other CLAS disciplines, such as political science, economics, or even business majors like accounting or finance can find an appropriate local government office such as planning, taxation, or budgeting that will potentially provide a great first professional experience.

town hall

When at home visiting old friends, talk to their parents, too! You know those people you avoided for most of your adolescence? Ask them where they work, how they like it, and if they’ve ever seen any interns there over the summer. You may already know your best foot-in-the-door resource and not even know it!

Don’t neglect the holiday dinner table, either. Instead if enduring Uncle Sal’s rant on “you college kids today” over cornbread stuffing, preempt him by asking about his job and if he knows any departments at his workplace who hire interns. By the time the pumpkin pie comes around, you might have already landed an interview!

 

Finally, take the time you’ll undoubtedly be spending hiding out in your old bedroom to really focus on what you want to do next. Skim job sites like HuskyCareerLink and indeed.com to learn about what jobs and companies are out there hiring, and how you might be able to fit in with them. Polish your resume, and get that LinkedIn profile up to date. If you still want a little help, the CCD is here and ready…and we’ll be open those few days before Thanksgiving, too!

 

photos: google images

By John Bau
John Bau Career Consultant, School of Engineering John Bau