Thoughts on how to spend your Winter Break
Having just finished my winter break and starting to get back into the swing of second semester, I feel it is important to take a moment and reflect over things that should be done during winter break and ways you can prepare for the second semester and more importantly your internship search.
So first off, it is important for you to relax during winter break. We were warned that the first semester is like drinking water from a fire hose, and it is important to use the time to relax and enjoy the time off. You definitely want to find time to wind down from the long semester and to rejuvenate yourself.
While relaxing is also important, there are several things that you might want to consider doing over your winter break because it should be a busy time for you. How might you keep busy then, you might ask? Unless you are one of very fortunate few (and truly it is a small number, so no need to panic), your winter break should be your warmup to your summer internship search.
A lot will happen in January and February so you want to spend your time on these three main areas (in my opinion):
1. Now is the time to make sure that your resume and cover letters are up to date and tailored to specific companies. By now you should have a good idea of what companies you will be targeting and you should spend your time over winter break figuring out how to distinguish yourself and why you want to pursue those internships and why those companies. Cover Letters and Resumes are part of the path to getting an interview request so spend time on it!
2. I strongly urge you to put aside time for Networking and Interview Prep. Over the winter break, you will be sure to run into friends and family at various events so use them as litmus test for some of your answers to interview questions. Also, why not ask them about their current industry and see if they have any introductions they can make. Don’t be afraid to practice your elevator pitch or your “Tell me about yourself” to close friends or random strangers at events. Get real feedback from those who know you (or don’t know you) and see how you can improve. After all, in a few weeks you will be doing this for real with companies and Interviewers. Do not waste your interviews for summer internships with poorly prepared performances. As they say, Perfect Preparation Prevents Poor Performance.
3. Last, lay out your game plan. Try to find out in advance when deadlines are, what the time limes for interviews look like, and any last events that might pop up. Getting yourself organized now will help as school will begin in earnest once more, and you will easily re-fall into the trap of trying to keep up with school work while looking for an internship. Anything you can do to help you stay one step ahead will actually keep you in great shape!
I apologize for the long delay and wish you all the best in your MBA school searches or in your Job interviews!