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The Hiatt Corner: Don’t hibernate over winter break

Published: November 14, 2008
Section: Opinions


This winter break, start making summer and post-graduation plans by thinking about your future, preparing for your job search, networking with professionals, and attending career fairs. If you are undecided about your plans, you can use the break to reflect on your values, skills and interests, and start or update your resume. Network with alumni, family and friends to find contacts who can illuminate diverse areas of the world of work. Attend career fairs to learn about a variety of career fields and apply for internships and jobs. Even if you are not ready to apply to specific positions, you can still gather valuable information and make contacts for the future.

Winter break is the perfect time to start considering plans for May, whether you know what you want to do or are still exploring your options. Hiatt’s career counselors can help you brainstorm an action plan, including engaging in reflection (i.e. attending Senior Sunday this weekend, or taking TypeFocus to help you crystallize your understanding and articulation of what is important to you, what your abilities are and what engages you) and preparing application materials. A smart approach and a great resume can help you beat the competition. If you already know your interests and have prepared your application materials, use the break to make connections that get you closer to your goal of landing a job or an internship.

One Brandeis student reflected that networking “has been a very helpful way of exploring a field in which I’m interested; my contact was knowledgeable and interested in explaining his work. In fact, due partially to great timing, an internship for the summer unexpectedly opened up the same time I met him, and I was offered a job. My contact has also made an effort to introduce me to other members of the department so I could have a better handle of what his work entailed. This has given me a much better idea of how the field operates.” Learn how to network at Hiatt; begin by reviewing the networking guidelines at http://www.brandeis.edu/hiatt/students/careertoolbox/networking and meeting with a counselor or Hiatt Advisor to be eligible to network via the Brandeis Alumni & Student Professional Networking Group on LinkedIn. We will guide you through networking best practices and etiquette to help you maximize your connections.

You can also engage in multiple career activities through the Career & Internship Connection (CIC) fairs: get advice from a group of alumni in New York or D.C. during a networking event, speak with 200+ employers, and even secure one or more inter-views at the fairs themselves, in Boston, New York, D.C., Chicago and Los Angeles during the week of January 5-9, 2009. For example, if you are interested in government or international policy, you might consider traveling to Washington, DC where you can network, attend the CIC fair, and possibly interview in just two days. For additional networking event and CIC information, login to Hiatt NACElink at https://brandeisu-csm.symplicity.com/students.

Whether you are taking inventory of who you are or networking with friends, family and alumni, whether you are participating in the CIC Fairs or approaching organizations independently, winter break is truly a time to act. Leave hibernation to the bears!

Rusmir Music M.S.

Assistant Director of Experiential Programs