Jan 192016

Pretty catchy title, don’t you think? No, doesn’t make sense? Well I liked it!

Winter Break has come and gone here at the Smith School. One thing I didn’t realize coming into the program was that our winter break is LONG! This year, we had over 30 days between our last final exam and the first day of the spring semester. With so much time off, what’s a Terp to do?

Here are some suggestions on how to maximize your winter break, with some additional insight into how I spent my December and January.

  • The Grand Canyon was on my bucket list before winter break, but not anymore.

    The Grand Canyon was on my bucket list before winter break, but not anymore.

    Do some traveling! You deserve it! As you can see from my last blog post, the first MBA semester is tough! You will need some time to recharge your batteries and expand your mind outside of the classroom. With 4-5 weeks at your disposal (and with the generous loans from the US Government), I highly recommend that you use this unique time in your life to go somewhere special. For example, some of my fellow classmates traveled to Chile, Colombia, Brazil, Turkey, Italy, France, Nigeria, Costa Rica, and the list goes on. If you want to stay domestic, you can plan a trip right here in the United States like I did. Bring someone you love.

  • Hit the internship search hard. You didn’t think it was going to be all fun and games, did you? With classwork on hiatus, there’s no better time to focus on your internship search. With the addition of the school’s HireSmith platform for On-Campus Interviews, many students also find their internships from the MBA-Exchange website. For what it’s worth, Indeed.com has a plethora of MBA internships as well (although some overlap with MBA-Exchange). The majority of Terps will secure their internships in January and February, so make sure all your applications are finalized in anticipation of interview season.
  • Consider taking a winter course in Baltimore or DC. The beauty of the Smith MBA program is that we have many additional outlets outside of College Park. There are part-time MBA programs in downtown Washington DC, midtown Baltimore, and Shady Grove (Rockville), MD. Not only do these classes offer some refreshing new scenery in easily commutable locations, but you also have the opportunity to meet several of the part-time MBA students (many of these part-time Terps may also be working at the companies you want to intern for!). These winter courses offer a key networking opportunity, and also allow you to ease your upcoming spring workload by completing a course in a mere two weeks. I took the “Strategic Alignment of Human Capital” course at the Baltimore campus from January 5th-13th, which conveniently did not interfere with my winter travel plans. The experience was definitely worth it.

Most importantly, make sure that you come back refreshed and ready to go for the spring semester! It was fantastic catching up with all my fellow Terps after going 30+ days without seeing each other. This school is truly a special place.