“It’s finally over!”
For months, you placed your life on hold. You grew oblivious to pop culture references. You lost touch with friends. And you began thinking in spreadsheet cells and bullet points. But now your projects are finished. You can head home…wherever that is now. For the next month, you can sleep until noon, eat healthy, and catch up on football. Who knows, maybe those migraines will finally go away. You might even pick up a good book (OK…maybe that’s pushing it).
Then again, your vacation (I mean, business school) only lasts two years. If you’re a first year, you need an internship. By your second year, you’d better be closing in on a job (Loans come due faster than you think). Fact is, many of your peers will be take the holiday to “re-charge.” That’s why it’s time for you to pound the pavement and make connections. Between the ugly sweater soirees and shopping sprees, here is some advice from b-school career center administrators on taking advantage of your free time:
Read: Really? Well, that’s what Char Bennington of the Booth School of Business advises. The holidays are a good time to learn more about your chosen industry or field. The in-depth knowledge you gain will pay off in interviews.
Start a Project: Looking to build experience, references, and a portfolio? Take the advice of Columbia University’s Regina Resnick: Put your knowledge to work. Offer your services to a nonprofit, startup, or a company that interests you. You never know who you might meet – or where your efforts could lead.
Stay In Touch: Remember that accounting firm you worked for right out of college? Pay them a visit. While you’re at it, call or email former bosses or peers. If you’re really bold, invite a local alum out for coffee to build goodwill and tap into their network. Out of sight is out of mind. Stay in touch with people before you really need them.
Connect With a CEO: Want to see what the corner office is like? Hoping to get an inside look at a prospective employer? You can shadow a CEO, according to Janet Marks of MIT Sloan. Companies hire people they know and like. Use this time as your audition.
Blog: Want to come across as credible? Establish your expertise by posting a YouTube video or a column. They’re a great vehicle to showcase how you’ll think and act on the job. Never forget: Poets and Quants is always happy to receive submissions from readers.
Source: Bloomberg Businessweek