Career-related tasks to do during the holiday season
June 05, 2019
During the holiday season or summer, when the University is off, most students head back home or make elaborate travel plans. It is easy to get caught up in the fun, but it is also important to make sure your career doesn’t take a backseat either. While you should definitely take the well-deserved break after an exhausting semester, here are a few productive activities you can sneak in your schedule. Your CV will thank you.
Learn a new language
It’s 2018: you don’t need to enroll for language classes to learn a new language anymore. Apps like Duolingo and Memrise do a great job of making the learning process fun. These apps offer lessons and activities, with goals and targets. The best part is that these apps are rather comprehensive: they help you practice the listening, speaking, reading and writing of any new language. You’re going to be scrolling social media feeds through your smartphones anyway, why not put your smartphone addiction to good use? Besides, if you have traveling plans, this would align well.
Being bilingual or multilingual not only opens up exclusive professional opportunities but also makes you a better candidate for graduate jobs with companies that deal with global clients.
Enroll in an online course
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have been around for quite a while now. There are many platforms that provide courses on a vast range of subjects, from graphic design to business ethics, to coding. Chances are your own University hosts some MOOCs too. So hop on to EdX, Coursera, Skillshare, Udemy, Harvard Open Courses, Yale Open Courses, Saylor, and get certified for the skills of your choice. The flexibility in finishing the course is tempting enough, and add to it the enormity and variety of courses available these days, most of them being self-paced, and you have the best use of your holidays. Not only will these skills shine in your CV, for many people, but these skills also become the entire basis for bagging a job.
Pursue creative interests
The break is the best time to experiment with your creative energies. You don’t necessarily have the pressure to perform, but you can still try your hand at new things: think baking, woodwork, outdoor sports, or even just crafts. Channel your creativities into something tangible. Who knows, you might start a podcast or a YouTube channel that goes viral?
Indulge in non-academic reading
Skimming through piles and piles of academic papers, research reports, and peer-reviewed publications may make reading sound an arduous task. Not to mention, it takes away from the time you’d otherwise use for some leisure reading. Holidays are the perfect time to catch up on this lost practice of leisure reading. The thing with non-academic reading is that it always broadens your horizons in a distinct way, and it hones your personality. Since everyone’s reading the same books, it really is what you do outside of the curriculum that will shine in your interviews and applications. So, bring something more to the table, and let that ‘something’ be an informed opinion.
Prepare for the second shot
As an international student, it is important to apply for graduate roles when they open in September through November. However, if you missed your chance, the next set of opportunities close in March/April. You can use the time during your summer break in preparation for the September deadline and the Christmas break for the April deadline.
Once the semester begins, it is going to be much, much harder to devote additional time to applications amidst all the assignments, exams and lectures. The wise thing to do is practice online tests, sit for mock interviews and/or polish your CV and/or cover letter. Have another pair of eyes assess your pitch: the pitch where you sell yourself.