Summer Advantage: Maximize Your Break Without an Internship

Summer break calls, Augustana Vikings! This break presents a golden opportunity for professional development. While internships offer structured learning, a summer without one doesn’t have to hold you back. Here’s how to leverage this time strategically to enhance your skillset and career readiness:

Develop In-Demand Skills:

  • Freelance Marketplace: Showcase your writing, graphic design, or social media expertise through platforms like Upwork or Fiverr. Gain real-world experience, build a professional portfolio, and potentially earn income.
  • Volunteer Expertise: Contribute to your community and explore career paths through volunteer work. Local non-profits and organizations aligned with your interests offer valuable learning opportunities.
  • Online Learning Advantage: Enhance your skillset with online courses from platforms like Coursera and edX. Explore coding, data analysis, or any other area that complements your academic background and career aspirations.

Fuel Your Personal and Professional Growth:

  • Passion Project Pursuit: Dedicating time to personal passions can unlock hidden talents and fuel creativity. Write a novel, launch a podcast, or explore other entrepreneurial ventures.
  • Travel for Growth: Broaden your perspective through travel, even on a budget. Consider backpacking, house-sitting, or work exchange programs to gain valuable life experiences and cultural awareness.
  • Shadow a Professional: Connect with Augustana alumni or local professionals in your field. Request a shadowing experience to gain firsthand insights into their daily work and career paths.

Network for Future Success:

  • Alumni Network Advantage (For Current Students): Leverage the power of the Augustana alumni network. Connect with alumni on LinkedIn and attend alumni events to build valuable relationships and gain career advice.
  • Informational Interviews: Network with local professionals in your target field. Request informational interviews to learn about their career journeys and gain valuable insights into the industry.
  • Viking Social Synergy: Networking doesn’t have to be formal. Connect with fellow Augustana students and alumni over coffee or drinks. Share experiences and build a strong professional network that can open doors in the future.

Remember: A strategically planned summer break can be instrumental in your academic and professional success. Take initiative, explore your passions, and build a strong network. By actively engaging in these opportunities, you’ll return to the fall semester with a well-rounded skillset and a head start on your goals.

Additional Tip: Document your summer experiences through a journal or blog. These reflections can showcase initiative and valuable lessons learned during future internships, job applications, or academic pursuits.

Embrace the summer advantage! Your future is bright

By Sangamitra Shakya
Sangamitra Shakya