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Talking Turkey: Making the Most of Your Break

November 22, 2010

At this point in the fall, students can feel torn between the desire to take a well-deserved breather, and (in some cases) severe stress over finding their next internship or gearing up for the daunting task of job hunting.

Thanksgiving comes at a perfect time.  Just enough down-time to allow you to regroup, think through your plans and priorities, while also packing in the food and having some much-deserved fun.

It also happens to be an EXCELLENT time to begin or ramp up your networking efforts.  Here are some tips for preparing on your way home:

  • * Make a list of everyone you’re going to see during this break, and (as much as you can recall) what they do for a living, where they work, where they live, what kinds of circles they hang out in. Then, of course, tuck that list away. It would kind of look mercenary if anyone found it.
  • * Think about something that you can say about your next career development goal: I’m hoping to explore careers in X in the next few months by talking to people in the field, OR I’ve decided to explore Y career path and am looking for a spring internship in that field, OR I’ll be job hunting soon, and am really interested in getting a foot in the door in Z industry.
  • * Remind yourself of some of your accomplishments. Folks will be interested in what you’ve been up to. Deliver the goods, with passion, and with just enough detail to let them know that you really sank your teeth into something.

Then sink your teeth into your turkey (or tofurkey) and pumpkin pie, and have some nice, relaxed (and subtly goal-oriented) conversations with your nearest and dearest (or those of your family and/or friends)! They may know people who can help, or have ideas for you that you hadn’t considered. Keep your mind open, and…be grateful for all that you will have received.

Happy Thanksgiving/Networking!!

Note: This was such great advice, given by our former SOC advisor Minna Morse, that is being re-posted for this holiday break.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 25, 2009 4:12 pm

    Great advice, Minna.

    Students should remember these tips when their assorted neighbors and relatives asks them the inevitable “So, what are you doing after graduation?” question. Talking about those goals and accomplishments is so much more effective than a blank stare or a mumbled “I’m exploring my options”. When the students share just a bit about their goals and accomplishments, those neighbors and distant relatives will undoubtedly come up with ideas and advice– some of which may actually be helpful! After all, the students don’t always know that Uncle Bill’s sister’s best friend works in the same field they aspire to be in!

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