Winter Break Career Exploration

25 October 2022
Rachel Leatham
Rachel Leatham, Associate Director

With the fall term ending soon, many students (and their families) are wondering what to do over the long break. While more than 200 students will be participating in a Carleton externship, many more will have a lot of unstructured time. While this may bring feelings of angst, we encourage your students to relax and use the time to recharge. Students can reflect on their experiences this fall and use their insights to chart their path forward.  We offer multiple options to pursue if they are interested in engaging in career development activities over the break. 

1. Create their own shadowing opportunity
Help your student tap into their personal network by identifying potential professionals (from the alumni network) to inquire about a shadowing experience.  Your student can reach out and see if they are willing to take them on for a day or two. Even visiting a worksite for a tour and a conversation can provide incredible insights about an organization and sector. 

2. Refine materials, such as résumés and cover letters. Make an appointment through Handshake.
The Career Center staff, the professional coaches, and SCAs, are available to help students optimize their application materials for future opportunities (e.g. externships, internships, part-time jobs, full-time jobs). We will help students to research keywords and skills that will help them stand out.

3. Dive into informational interviewing.  Work through the guided process.
Schedule informational interviews with personal contacts or Carleton alumni to learn more about a specific industry or job of interest.

4. Virtual work experience programs. Check out Forage or Parker Dewey
Take advantage of free, bite-sized work experience programs to explore careers and/or hone their skills by completing a professional project. (Some are even paid.)

The Career Center can meet with students in-person or virtually throughout winter break by setting up an appointment in Handshake. We are here for Carls!