It’s Holiday Break for CMU. Your student is finally home after a long semester; they’ve seen their hometown friends, had dinners with family, spent hours binging on Netflix, and slept for what seems like days on end. So, now what?
- Don’t forget that your student has just completed one of the most stressful times of their year. Finals are difficult wherever you go to school, but especially so at Carnegie Mellon. Your student needs this chance to relax and decompress. As hard as it might be to let them do nothing, most students need the mental and physical break after a taxing semester.
- Talk among your friends and co-workers to see if you know anyone that’s in a field that he or she is interested in. Encourage your student to contact these acquaintances and to set up informational interviews and/or phone conversations. These connections can help your student learn more about companies and careers they are interested in, and can also put them a step ahead of their peers if they would ever apply for a job or internship at those companies.
- Ask your student if they have an updated LinkedIn profile. Break is a great time to create or update a LinkedIn profile. More and more recruiters are using LinkedIn to find students that match their hiring needs. It’s important that your student’s profile be the best it can be if (and when) a recruiter comes across it. The Career Center has a guide that can help students with questions they may have about their LinkedIn profile.
- While updating their LinkedIn, your student should also take some time to look over their resume, using our guide to answer questions if needed. They may have some new accomplishments gained this past semester that will make them stand out more than the current projects or classes they have listed.
- Encourage your student to sign-up for an appointment with their career consultant for when they arrive back at school. Our spring career fairs come up quickly once students get back into the swing of the semester, and our consultants are usually very busy the week prior to the fairs. Setting this appointment early, for the first or second week back, helps your student get ahead of the rush and helps optimize their career fair experience.
- Ask if your student has researched any of the companies coming to our spring career fairs . Our Creative Arts Opportunity Confluence (CAOC) and Spring Employment Opportunities Conference (EOC) both already have employers registered. Students should take some of their free-time over break to take a careful look of their top five companies at the fair. This will allow them to know beforehand who they want to talk with most the day of the fair. A plan like this can help keep your student from wandering the fair, and instead give them a clear path.
If your student follows these simple steps, they will get ahead during their winter break, while also having plenty of time for a much needed opportunity to relax and get ready for the academic rigors of the semester ahead.