Shift into gear in the New Year!

Shift into gear in the New Year!

Shift into gear in the New Year
(for your career!)
By Jennifer Barr

It’s almost 2017 and we hope your break is going well!

Many of you have been home for a few weeks now, and we hope you are catching up on sleep, eating healthy and visiting with friends and family. It’s that time of year when many new-year-new-career
students are trying to figure out practical use of their time before classes begin, and the new year always ushers in a new set of resolutions.

One of the smartest ways to utilize January before classes is to spend quality time thinking about next summer, or the next (or initial!) stage of your job search. The more organized you can become over winter break, the healthier your job or internship search will be – and these benefits will be seen as you manage all of your other academics and activities.

I know it may seem early, but in the world of the internship and job search, it’s never too early to get started.  Below are some of my recommendations for your Winter Break – make one or more a New Year’s resolution!


1. Create your Resume.
If you have not already done so, take a stab at a first draft of your resume. You can have the CCPA review it upon your return.

Check our samples for layout and structure, taking special note to the tone and use of action verbs.

2. Explore your options.
Before you even want to look for an internship or job, get some ideas about different careers out there. Narrowing down your search will help keep things manageable and is an important part of the process.

The “I can do any job, in any location” approach sounds flexible and intriguing, but you may quickly find this type of internship-search is overwhelming. That’s not to say that you can’t keep your options open, but thinking about what type of industry you might like to explore gives you a place to start.

And while you are at it, check out the link, “What can I do with my major” and where our alumni have begun their careers after graduation

3. Get a Feel for what’s out there.
Not sure about what opportunities are actually available? Check out several databases to give you a sense of what to look for in a job or internship.

First visit CareerConnect, fill out your profile, and take a look at employers who are targeting Haverford interns and entry level hires.

Finally, visit our online Resources By Interest, a page broken down by career interest with many a variety of paid subscriptions, many of which offer job/internship databases & listings of their own. Your Haverford username and password will give you access.

4. Talk to people.
Databases are a perfect place to start, but a good portion of jobs and internships are obtained by making personal connections – and rarely do these conversations start with, “Can I have a job.”

It is very important to learn about different careers from family, friends and Haverford alumni. Conduct information interviews and get up to speed about trends in different fields, and advice from people who are immersed in these careers everyday. These conversations will often lead to a discussion of summer or post-graduation plans, but let this happen naturally.  It will only get to this place if you start the conversation correctly: by asking for information, not a job.

Join the Haverford College Alumni Worldwide group in LinkedIn, and check out our resource guide that includes just about everything you will need to help the networking process, including sample introduction emails.

5. Looking for summer opportunities? Check out our Haverford College Funded Internships. There are some funded opportunities sponsored by the college, and it is important that you start this process early. Many (not all) are self-designed, which means that you need to find the opportunity and apply with that internship/job in mind. This means research, connections, etc. Submitting professional cover letters, resumes and well-written essays take time. Winter break is the perfect opportunity to get the ball rolling.

6. Looking for a Gap Year? Many Haverford students and alumni participate in a one to two year of service or Gap Year Program. Highlighted here are programs and opportunities in which many Haverford students have been interested.

7. Update your calendar.
There are so many on campus events and opportunities that can help you in your search. Whether it’s a career panel sponsored by the CCPA, Career Fairs like PCC or STEM, the Not-For-Profit Career Fair, a time-management workshop from the OAR, or an alumni chat sponsored by a specific major – every one of these events will help in your journey.

Our office calendars are continuously updated, but many of these dates are already online. Spend a few minutes over break adding them to your own calendar.

For a comprehensive list of events and internship deadlines, visit the Haverford CCPA calendar on CareerConnect and view it by month.