Wait, you have no plans? No planned cruise or trip to Cancun with your best friends? Nothing? Well take advantage of that time and make use of a free week of school to develop professional connections and gain new experiences.
Spring break is classically the time to veg out on the couch and catch up on whatever TV show you have neglected for the semester. However, spring break is a perfect time to take initiative and be proactive about your professional goals. I can tell you from personal experience that this has been a huge asset for me. It will be to your benefit to best use this time.
A professional spring break is a great opportunity for pre-business/journalism students that might not qualify for a summer internship to instead shadow a company over spring break. Shadowing someone for a day in their office will give you insight to working environment and the values of the company. Not only does this show great initiative, but demonstrates company research. Employer partners of the UGA Career Center often survey that a consistent issue with potential candidates is the lack of company research. This will be invaluable if you later interview for job the company you shadowed.
If you are an education student, spring break provides a great opportunity to get some practicum hours or gain new experiences with different age ranges. Make sure that you go through the proper avenues to be able to spend time with students at either a public or private school. You may have to go through a background check process which could take up to 2 weeks; so be proactive, contact the school and get the right approval to do so.
Graduate school: the Next Frontier. If you are thinking about graduate school, this is a wonderful opportunity to explore programs. I can tell you from personal experience that this was a key factor in me getting into graduate school. Last spring break, I visited an institution to learn more about their graduate program. I was able to speak to the program coordinator, meet 10+ current grad students, and get to know the university and the culture. Once again, this demonstrates initiative and being proactive. My personal statement virtually wrote itself because I could say more than, “I saw your program online and it looked cool.” I had real experience on the campus and even developed professional relationships with current professionals. I would highly recommend this to anybody interested in graduate study.
Lastly, send thank you notes! The people who have gone out of their way to let you shadow, visit, or simply do whatever, have taken time out of their schedules to make sure you feel comfortable and accommodated. Please take the time to write out a thank you note or send a professional email. This will assure them that you had a beneficial experience and valued their time. It’s not the most glamorous or exciting spring break, but I’m telling you, it works.
If you are interested in asking how to start this process, come see us at walk-in hours from 12-2 every weekday! Start now and be proactive. Like always, it’s been real. It’s been fun. It’s been real fun.