Around this time of year is when everyone seems to start announcing their plans for the summer or for after graduation. The social media posts are unavoidable. And while it is exciting to see what cool things your friends will be doing in the future, if you don’t have a cool thing to announce, it can feel not so great. Maybe you’ve been applying for positions for months and haven’t heard back. Maybe this semester has been hectic and you haven’t begun to apply. Whatever situation you’re in, there is no reason to panic. Follow this step-by-step guide to get your plans in order.
1. Let the Career Center set you up for success. Bring your resume into drop-in hours (2 pm - 4 pm every weekday) and make sure it is up to date with all your current information. After that, make an appointment with a Career Specialist to discuss job/internship search strategies and get their feedback on possible positions or companies that are accepting applications. Finally, look at our Career Guide for any document examples or explanations you might need for your applications.
2. Find new opportunities. If the places you’re looking don’t have any open positions, look somewhere else! Right now there are over 1800 full-time positions and 600 internship positions on UMBCworks. Also, take a look at those newsletters you get from the Career Center every week. They are full of jobs for your major that were posted in the last few days. Finally, come to a few Career Center events. Our Career Month will be kicking off in April, and we will have at least one event every day! That's a ton of chances to network and meet new people.
3. Follow up with connections. I can’t stress this enough! If someone gives you their card, email them. If someone asks for your availability for an interview, let them know! Be polite, professional, and punctual in all your communication. It’ll do wonders.
4. Make a plan B. Working immediately after the end of the semester isn’t the only option. If you’re returning in the Fall, take this summer to expand your skill set. The key is to use your time wisely and avoid the trap of TV and snacks all summer. Ideally, you could split your time as follows: 20 hrs/week in a part-time job, 15 hrs/week gaining experience in your field (like projects or volunteer positions), 5 hrs/week building your skill set. You’re working the equivalent of a full-time internship and will have a ton of new information to list on your resume. If you’re graduating this semester, use the same sort of time split, but shave a few hours off each category and use those 6 or so hours a week to look for a full-time position in your field.