Summer—Prime Time for Building Your Career

"It's never too late to be what you might have been." -George Eliot

On these below-zero February days, visions of summer usually involve sun and beaches. Hold that thought… but add to it visions of career-related experiences.

Yes, summer is a great time to explore fields of interest, test the waters of an industry you are considering, develop skills to make you competitive as you enter the workplace, gain some solid experience for your resume and build your beginning professional networks. The good news is: you can do all this and still have fun.

Consider this: UVM students have completed summer internships or research experiences with the Jerusalem Post, Keurig Green Mountain, FUSE Marketing, Vermont Fish and Wildlife, Senator Patrick Leahy’s office, Pfizer and more. They have taught gardening, worked in international development in the cacao industry, taught ESL, designed adaptive equipment, and worked in laboratories. All amazing ways to spend a summer—and gain significant experience! Interested in exploring internship opportunities? Check out our internship website.

Planning to develop some skills via a summer job in your field? Check our Catamount Job Link for some starting points, or stop by the Hub to begin planning your search. Identify work you are interested in, build connections, work your networks! Take advantage of LinkedIn as a starting point. Be sure to have a strong resume prepared for the search. And, of course, you will have an even stronger one after that summer job.

Finally, if you are returning to a lucrative but routine summer job, consider expanding your horizons by adding in a little volunteer work. You could work as a lifeguard by day, and explore your interest in working with refugees with volunteer work once or twice a week. If you are working as waitstaff, you might be able to schedule some fascinating informational interviews or some job shadowing in a communications firm or a medical facility.

The Hub is a great place to get started on using your summer to gain experience and build skills—and Spring Break is a great time to get started. Make the most of it!

~Mary Beth

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