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10/16/2014

Fall, Thanksgiving and winter breaks can feel like waves of relief for students who have been hard at work all semester. Relaxing as this time off may be, breaks are also a great time to return to the job or internship search and expand your network.

While most fall positions are nearing their halfway mark, spring and summer opportunities are constantly added to www.IndianaINTERN.net. Employers that use our site can post positions at all times, so be sure to check frequently to see what new opportunities are available. It’s never too early to apply for summer internships, as many organizations begin reviewing candidates several months in advance. Although some employers have already filled their spring internship positions, many small and local organizations are still looking for the perfect intern.

In addition to applying for positions, breaks can be a great time to expand your network. Even simple updates to your LinkedIn profile or connecting with someone in your field can go a long way toward achieving your larger career goals. You never know who will end up being your most important connection.

Networking in person is the preferred way to communicate your career goals and message, so you should take all opportunities to meet face-to-face very seriously. Participate in networking events or meet with professionals with whom you would not be able to connect with during the academic year. If you attend school far from home, take part in networking events in your hometown.

Being away from school means you’re more likely to run into new professionals. While your online portfolio and LinkedIn profile prominently display your contact information, carrying business cards is a convenient way to convey the same information in person. If you don’t have business cards associated with your job, print some of your own. This shows initiative and is more convenient than handing out copies of your resumé, especially if your resumé is online.

Even out-of-state vacations offer ways to broaden your connections. Though Indiana INTERNnet advocates students staying in the state for internship and job opportunities, take time in a new place to research its job market. If you have family or friends in the area, ask them what they like and dislike about working in the region. All of this creates a solid foundation for comparison across state lines and increases your connections wherever your travels take you.

Try not to spend your entire break exhausting your Netflix queue and catching up on the sleep you missed during finals week. A little bit of productivity can lead to your dream internship or a networking opportunity you would not have otherwise. Time off from school is the perfect time to jumpstart your internship search.

Photo: heatherhuhman.com