We’re halfway through the summer, and as usual things are pretty quiet on campus. Sure, there are students around taking summer classes, but they are present in much smaller numbers than during the fall or spring. As a staff member, it can be great to have this quiet time to work on a bunch of projects that accumulated throughout the academic year. As a student, you can also take advantage of this quiet time to consult with career center staff on your brand.
Limits Could Be Limitless
A couple of weeks ago, I had an appointment with a student that took up close to two hours. A typical appointment is only one hour. In this case, the student needed help with a resume, LinkedIn, and other job search matters. There was a lot to discuss, starting from the basics with a need to go more in depth. Luckily, it was summer. My calendar was clear of any other appointments.
Since most career center staff member’s have relatively open schedules during the summer, it’s a perfect time to schedule a meeting with someone. First of all, it’s easier to get on their calendar. Second, the timeframe for your meeting could be a little more flexible. Depending on where you are in your career development, this extra time might be particularly helpful. Now, not all career advisors will be as flexible as I have been. But you never know how much time a good, student-centered staff member might give you.
Get Your Ducks in a Row.
I am starting to have both employers and students alike inquire about fall semester internships. Fall (and spring) semester can be a great time for a internship, not least of all because there are fewer competitors for those opportunities. But even if there are fewer people vying for the internships out there, it doesn’t mean you don’t need to be on top of your game. Now is the time to make sure you’re prepared.
Make an appointment for a resume review. If you’ve never had a career counselor review your resume before, know that it is (or should be) harmless. It is a time to discuss your career direction and your career goals in relation to that essential branding document. If you have met with someone before, it’s a good idea to get another check. For example, how do you weave in an internship you did this summer? How might you incorporate a leadership role you took on last year? Maybe this time around, meet with someone different to benefit from varied perspectives. Even better, schedule a few resume reviews, each with a different counselor. Your resume will be ready for anything after that.
In addition to resume work, take this opportunity to fill in other gaps. Sit down with someone to set up a LinkedIn profile and learn how best to use the site. Have a conversation with a career counselor about social media in your job search, the good and the bad. Go in for some practice interviews and polish up your skills. With ample availability of career center staff, you can cover all of your bases to prepare you for your internship and job searches to come this year.
The sky is the limit in terms of taking advantage of your campus career center during the quiet months of summer. There is still time to get into that office and get your career-related goals for 2011-2012 kicked in high gear.
Laura serves as Internship Coordinator at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in the office of Career & Leadership Development. In this role, Laura advises students who are pursuing internships, assists employers with intern recruitment, and supports university faculty who oversee academic internships. She also provides students with job search readiness assistance through presentations, individual counseling, and social media. Laura earned her bachelors degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she majored in French and Political Science, and she received her masters degree in Counseling from UW-Whitewater. To learn more about Laura, read her blog, follow her on Twitter, or connect on LinkedIn.