Four ways to be professionally productive during winter break

By Marah Harbison

You’ve been home from school for a week. You’ve binge-watched “Master of None” on Netflix… twice. You’ve been wearing the same pair of sweatpants for five days, and you think you may be getting bedsores from lying on the couch for so long. It’s safe to say you’ve recovered from finals, and it’s time for you do something.

Three weeks with no classes, no readings and no group meetings can be a great opportunity to plan for summer internships and post-graduation jobs. Here are four ways you can be professionally productive during winter break.

Reconnect with former mentors

Mentor

Do you have a high school teacher who made an impact on your college or career path? Maybe you have a former boss or internship coordinator that taught you valuable skills. Make it a point to reconnect with these people and tell them what they’ve done for you. They may have nothing left to teach you, but the connections they have could open doors for opportunities for you in the future.

Write cover letters

Work for Free

Most applications for summer PR internships may not open until February, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get a head start on your application materials. Take advantage of your free time and start drafting thoughtful cover letters for your internship or job applications. They are guaranteed to be of higher quality than if you wrote them days before application deadlines while also juggling midterms or finals.

Visit local agencies

Skating in Office

Ok, so maybe it isn’t your dream to move back to your hometown for the summer or after graduation. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t reach out to agencies in the area while you are home for break. Most agencies are happy to set up informational interviews with college students, and these types of interactions can help you get comfortable talking about yourself and your career goals with professionals in the field. Plus, you never know where the agency has another office. It could be in your dream city!

Suit up

Suiting Up

Do you really need those wireless headphones that cost hundreds of dollars or another pair of wool socks as gifts? Think about your future when writing your wish list this year. Interview season is coming up, and it can be expensive to dress to impress. Ask mom and dad to foot the bill for a new suit or briefcase, and you’ll start the spring semester looking sharp and feeling prepared.

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