A Career-Focused Summer

Jul, 6 2021

Yellow background with centered illustration of two books, one orange and one dark blue in front of a white text bubble that reads A Career-Focused Summer in green

It can be challenging for students to prepare for their future careers during the fall and spring semesters. After long nights studying, group assignments, and endless readings, summer break has finally arrived. With more than two months of summer break at hand, it is a great time to relax, prepare for the future, or even learn something new.

We put together activities students can do over the summer break to prepare for their professional futures and personal success.

Research your career interests.

The summer break is a perfect time to reflect on where you are, where you want to be, and set some goals. Start by reflecting on your passions to find career opportunities that are aligned with your interests. Once you have an idea of the career you wish to pursue, you can build a realistic plan with actionable items to reach your future career goals.

Update your resume and professional online portfolio.

Summer is the best time to refresh your resume and online portfolio. Don’t have either?  Take this time to create one. Add a professional headshot to your LinkedIn and update your profile to include recent accomplishments, projects, experiences, or skills you’ve earned throughout the academic year. Use your college's Career Services to help you identify your qualifications and revamp your professional resume or professional online portfolio. 

Learn a new skill or hobby.

Seek out free courses related to your interests or major. Perhaps you can learn how to code or explore drawing techniques in Adobe Creative Cloud applications, through free online courses or by watching YouTube tutorials. You do not have to spend money to learn something new. Free knowledge is out there, you just need to find something that interests you.

Find an internship or summer job opportunity.

Summer internships and jobs are a great way to gain experience, learn more about an industry, and pick up some new qualifications that will impress future employers. Connect with employers looking for you on our free online career management tool, Maricopa CareerLink, to discover jobs and internship opportunities.


Find organizations associated with your future career industry and send them an email asking questions, advice, or tips that can help you land a job in the future. LinkedIn is a great networking platform where you can connect with potential employers. Professors are also great people to network with because they care about your success and are well connected in their fields. If you establish a good relationship with them, they can offer you mentorship, career advice, or letters of recommendation.

Give back.

Giving back to the community is an excellent way to make new connections and gain experiences that will benefit your resume. Volunteering empowers you to have a natural sense of accomplishment that is not only good for the community but also for your confidence and self-esteem. 

Pick up a new side hustle.

Students have a lot on their plates during the academic school year. Picking up a side hustle can help you save money so you focus on your studies during the semester. You can sell some old clothes, deliver food, dog sit, freelance, or become a virtual assistant.

Don’t forget to enjoy your break.

Even though planning for the future is a critical part of your success, it is important to destress. Allowing yourself to recharge will motivate you for the new semester and help you avoid potential burnout. Balance your resume-boosting activities with some fun and enjoy your summer!


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