How grad students can make the most of summer break

  • How grad students can make the most of summer break

    Busy graduate students may view the summer as an opportunity to relax and unwind while they prepare for another school year. However, the few months in between the next batch of classes is the perfect time to work on planning for the future. This could possibly be one of the largest stretches of time professionals have to focus solely on building the foundation of their careers, so it's important that they take advantage of their seemingly "free" time. Here's how grad students can make the most of their summer break:

    "Internships aren't just for undergraduate students."

    Intern at a reputable company
    Internships aren't just for undergraduate students. In fact, there are some job and internship positions that are offered exclusively to those pursuing an advanced degree. It would benefit grad students to approach reputable companies that are within the area of their interest, as doing so could ultimately set them up with a job offer upon graduation. Attending grad school shows employers that a professional takes his or her field seriously, and as a result, they could be more likely to choose a grad student over another intern when it's time to hire a candidate.

    Build a professional brand
    Summer is the perfect time for grad students to update their LinkedIn profiles and build their professional brand. They can spend some time joining LinkedIn groups to expand their networks, adding a compelling headline to their profiles, listing relevant skills that their connections can endorse and more. By doing so, students can grow their following and ultimately open themselves up to career and internship opportunities.

    Focus on the field
    Depending on a student's intended career path, there are certain activities that can be done during the summer to better his or her profession. For example, a student who is pursuing a Ph.D. will be expected to get published at some point during his or her college career. Taking some time this summer to research various publications is helpful for these candidates. It can give them insight into what it takes to write for a publication, and it can also be a source of inspiration. 

    "Study articles of interest to you not just for the content, but for what lessons they offer about your own future publications," Jennifer Furlong, associate director of New York University's Office of Faculty Resources, told The Higher Education Chronicle. 

    By Monique Smith

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