Make the Most of Your Summer Break

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University students are winding down into the final weeks of their second semester, which means summer break is upon us! Congratulations on completing your first, or another, semester of university – you’ve achieved an amazing milestone. Summer break is a terrific time to recharge from your normal school schedule, and it’s four months long – ample time to work, relax, volunteer, and explore.

It may seem like summer break is still ages away, but you should start making a plan about what you want to do. If you landed an internship for the summer already, congratulations – you are ahead of the bunch. If not, don’t fret – there are so many opportunities still available, and you too can have a meaningful summer.

It can be scary making a plan and applying to jobs, which is why TalentEgg resources like Office Hours with employers and job postings are so helpful! Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to stay up to date on helpful articles, events, contests, and the latest job postings.

Still confused about what opportunities you could pursue in the summer? Here are some ideas that will build your resume academically and professionally:

1. Work as an Intern

Internships are an amazing opportunity to learn about a company, field of work, and seeing how you can apply your lessons from school to the real world.  Internships are also an important opportunity to build a relationship with an employer that could lead to a full time role upon graduation.  Check out the job board from TalentEgg, ask friends and family if they are aware of any opportunities, and network!

Did you meet a campus recruiter at a conference last month? Be sure to connect with them to ask if they’re hiring for the summer. Also, look directly on your favourite organization’s website. In my first year of university, I was lucky to get an internship at the Ontario Public Service after finding the job posting on their career site. Remember, it is never too early or too late to start searching for an internship. Many of my peers got an internship placement later in the summer, so don’t worry if you have not found anything yet! The key to success is to make a plan and be persistent!

2. Complete a Semester/Course/Research Opportunity Abroad

Your school is likely partnered with a few international schools that host Canadian students in the summer. This can be an amazing opportunity to further develop your academic capabilities on an international level! Check out the opportunities on TalentEgg’s partner’s website, Study and Go Abroad.  You can learn more of the amazing experiences that students have had combining travel and studying, while exploring new countries and soaking up international experiences and cultures on the TalentEgg Incubator. If your school doesn’t have any study abroad opportunities, look directly on your favourite international school’s website. If you enjoy travelling and experiencing new cultures and places, this would be a perfect experience.

3. Start Your Own Business

Are you an entrepreneur at heart with an awesome idea? Don’t hesitate in starting your own business. With ample mentors available from school, your personal connections, or through programs like Ontario Summer Company, your awesome idea can become a reality faster than you think! Creating your own business is not only a great experience, but it’s quite literally a venture that could last a lifetime.

4. Work a Part-Time Job

Part-time jobs in retail, customer service, and hospitality provide you with so many transferable skills. For one thing you become comfortable communicating with colleagues and customers alike. My personal experience in customer service at Roots and TD Canada Trust helped develop my skills in sales, communication, time management, and teamwork. There is value in every experience you pursue, so don’t sell your part time experiences short! Instead, focus on the transferable skills you gained from them and highlight those on your resume.

5. Complete a Few Courses at School

Want to lessen your workload in the next academic year? Take some courses in the summer to get a head start on your workload in the following academic year. You could also take summer school to improve your grades if you require a higher GPA for a job or further educational requirement.

You can also sign up for classes you’re passionate about that don’t necessarily relate to your degree or area of study, but offer training that rounds out your skill set and make your summer more enjoyable and productive. Maybe you’re interested in photography, or design, or gardening. Search online, your local community centre or school website for fun ways to learn a new hobby or skill!  Employers are looking for well-rounded individuals engaged in the world around them, so even your passion projects can be a great addition to your CV, especially if they help build skills or contribute to the community.

 

These are just a few ideas to get you started on thinking about what you can do this summer. Whatever you decide to do, make sure you also take some well-deserved time to relax and enjoy the sunshine!

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About the author

Shaan Ali Jessa is a recent marketing grad from the BBA program at the Schulich School of Business-York University. Most recently he completed internships focusing on customer experience and marketing at Bell and L'Oreal. Outside of work he's passionate about social media and blogging about careers and food. Follow him on Twitter (https://twitter.com/sjessa18) or connect with him on LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/shaanjessa/).