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Utilize Your Summer to Get Ahead for Jobs and Internships

Start Where You Are 

Maybe your student had plans for a job or internship this summer and did not land one after all. That is okay! Many students are feeling frustrated after more than a year spent virtually, but encourage them to shift the focus from frustration to optimism and actively seeking opportunities. They don’t need to have a formal internship in order to learn about career fields, make lasting connections with people in the industry, or prepare for the upcoming year. Below are some strategies to take advantage of during the next couple of months.   

Make Connections 

Encourage your student to speak about careers with family, friends, classmates, roommates, professors, graduate students, UC Davis staff, Cal Aggie Alumni Association Career Resource Network, etc. They can continue to make new connections online through LinkedIn and Handshake where they can find alumni who studied their major, like in the UC Davis Alumni group, and companies that fit their interests. 

Informational interviews with individuals in a field of interest to your student are a great way to help clarify career interests. During a quick conversation about their career path, an employer can answer specific questions and offer advice to someone starting out in their field. The UC Davis Internship and Career Center (ICC) has resources to support. Check out our webpage with sample questions to ask during informational interviews. 

  • Learning about specific careers and getting questions answered is the obvious benefit of an informational interview 

  • Another benefit is expanding one’s network further through introductions to additional contacts 

  • An informational interview can often lead to jobs and internships! The organization may not be hiring currently, but by developing a relationship with someone in the industry, your young adult is increasing their chance of being informed about future opportunities 

Professional Development 

Your student can also utilize time during the summer to develop professional skills. They can take specialized courses from various universities offered online (sometimes free!). This is a great way to build skills and learn more before entering the workforce or graduate school. A few sites include: 

Prepare Now for the Upcoming Year 

Summer is not only a time to rest and rejuvenate; it is also a great time to prep for the next academic year. If your student is considering an internship during the year, summer is a good time to start drafting their resume and/or cover letter and explore jobs on Handshake. Encourage them to make a virtual appointment to have their materials reviewed by one of the Internship and Career Center’s advisors. Here are the dates of our career fairs for summer and fall quarters. We also have many virtual workshops over the summer on topics such as resume and cover letters, LinkedIn, interviewing and more. 

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