Summer has officially begun. Now is the time to release the stress from the academic year and recharge your battery. The gift of time this summer can provide you an opportunity to prepare for life after college. The following topics can help you gain knowledge and experience this summer:
- Fall 2021 - Important dates to keep in mind
- Career Exploration
- Building Skills
- Update and enhance your online image
- Network with professionals in your field of interest - Informational Interviews via AggieNetwork or LinkedIn
- Connect with the Texas A&M Career Center
Fall 2021 - Important dates to keep in mind:
It is hard to believe that we are about 70 days from the start of Fall 2021. While there is still time to soak in the sun, here are some dates to keep in mind for the fall semester:
- First day of Classes: Monday, August 30th
- Graduation Application for Fall 2021 opens: Wednesday, August 18th
- Resume & Mock Interview Day (in-person): Monday, September 6th
- Resume Day (virtual): Tuesday, September 7th
- Career Fairs begin the second week of school with the Engineering Career Fair
- Wednesday / Thursday, September 8th & 9th (in-person)
- Friday, September 10th (virtual)
- Our career fairs page has more updates on all Texas A&M career fairs
Keeping these dates in mind will help motivate you on your career development journey this summer.
Summer is a great time to learn about yourself and explore different careers. There are several self-assessments available to you through the Career Center and Counseling & Psychological Services. Sigi3 helps you create a career plan. Focus2 helps you identify majors and explore different occupations. Additionally, personality assessments like the MBTI and Enneagram tests can be helpful in identifying areas of interest. The most important thing to remember is that you are in the driver seat for your career exploration journey.
With the gift of time this summer, take advantage of building your skills with these tips.
Have extra time on your hands? Identify professionals and ask about the opportunity to shadow them to learn the day-to-day operations. These professionals can be found in your community, such as on Find an Aggie, Local A&M Clubs and LinkedIn Groups, to name a few.
Focused on earning income this summer? Stay busy by seeking work on-campus and off-campus. This adds experience to your resume and gives you an opportunity to develop your skills.
Taking classes over the summer? Go beyond the expectations as a student and reach out to your professors about research opportunities in your area. You can also check out LAUNCH for a database of research opportunities: \
Already have a LinkedIn account set-up? Activate a FREE LinkedIn Learning account through TAMU . This resource helps students enroll in webinars and demonstrates skills that are not commonly discussed in degree courses. Marketing for Real Estate, Detecting Fraud, Hosting a Podcast, Workplace Ethics are examples of courses to take from practicing professionals.
Update and Enhance your Online Image:
Take some time to revisit and update your networking profiles. This will also provide you the opportunity to continue engagement with your connections!
If you recently created your LinkedIn profile, start with the basics! Upload a recent profile picture, preferably a headshot that a friend can take for you. For content, use your resume! There is no reason to make this harder on yourself. Use the same bullet points to showcase your skills and experiences. Then begin your connections with friends & family, classmates & professors and industry professionals. Start NOW!
Update your headline to something more impactful! Rather than “Student at Texas A&M University” → Marketing Senior at Texas A&M University | President of Technology Business Association
Use FREE networking platforms, such as AggieNetwork and LinkedIn, for the opportunity to build familiarity with former students who work in your desired industry. One conversation could possibly lead to an informational interview, application updates, and tips to succeed in industry.
Informational interviews are a great way to become more acquainted with industries of interest. By familiarizing yourself with current trends, qualifying roles and the future of an industry, you can establish candidacy for open positions within an organization one day.
- Keep your introduction short (1 minute max).
- Ask bold, open-ended and engaging questions (ex: What advice do you have for candidates interested in your industry?).
- Show appreciation for the interaction by sending a thank you.
- Follow up!
It is normal to feel anxious when introducing yourself to people in industry. The Career Center offers helpful information on networking.
Connect with the Texas A&M Career Center:
For Summer 2021, the Career Center will continue all operations virtually (Advising Appointments, Resume / Cover Letter Drop-ins, Workshops, etc.).
On weekday afternoons beginning at 1:30 PM, the Career Center will host Drop-ins for students to receive live reviews on their Resumes, Cover Letters and assistance with other topics.
As challenging as this year has been, these are tips and resources you can use to help make next year a better one. Enjoy your summer!
Written by Aaron Aleman, Graduate Assistant & Bradley Matthews, Associate Director, Texas A&M Career Center