How to Make the Most of Your Summer

Kyle Hodges

Summer is right around the corner, and if you're searching for ways to spend the time, you are not alone! Check out these ideas for ways that you can make the most of your summer and use it to develop your future career. 

1. Gain an Experience

Virginia Alumni Mentors Bridges Projects

Virginia Alumni Mentoring (VAM) offers a unique way for UVA students to connect with alumni through project-based work, called Bridges Projects. UVA alumni post short-term, well-defined projects that students can complete in approximately 10-40 hours across 2-5 weeks, both paid and unpaid. These projects cover all different industries so the opportunities are endless! This is a great option for UVA students who want career related summer plans to gain skills, connect with alumni, and add an experience to your resume! Check out current projects here

Local Job

Whether you are spending the summer in your hometown or in Charlottesville there are ways to gain work experience. The choices are endless, some ideas may be babysitting, working as a camp counselor, working in the food industry, or working in retail. Through these experiences you will gain soft skills, communication, working with people, team building, and much more. When looking to transfer this experience on your resume remember to use quantifiable numbers to best highlight your experience. For example, instead of saying “Served tables at a highly rated restaurant.” you could say “Served 20 tables simultaneously at a top rated restaurant.”. 
Not sure where to find a part time job? Check out Handshake or call a local company you are interested in and ask how to apply!

2. Gain a Skill

Coursera

Coursera for UVA gives students access to UVA's content on Coursera. Courses are available online and can be accessed anytime and anywhere. Learn new skills and explore courses on your own time this summer. When you successfully complete a course, you can earn a Coursera certificate to share on LinkedIn or your resume.

LinkedIn Learning

LinkedIn Learning offers unique opportunities to increase your knowledge and gain a skill in a particular industry or job function through an online course. There are so many LinkedIn Learning courses to choose from! Check out this blog from the UVA Career Center to learn about the different LinkedIn Learning courses offered.

3. Gain insight

Networking

Use this summer to build your network! Utilizing platforms like LinkedIn and Virginia Alumni Mentoring (VAM) makes networking easy. On LinkedIn, you can connect with individuals in your desired field. Use your connections to perform informational interviews to learn more about them and their career. On VAM, you are connected to thousands of UVA Alumni looking to help students like you. Whether you are looking for a quick phone call or a long-term mentor VAM has the option for both!

Remember that Career Center is here for you during the summer virtually or in-person. Just use Handshake or call 434-924-8900 to make an appointment!

Written by Makayla Gallen, UVA Career Center Graduate Intern