A Winter Break To Do List for the Pajama Wearing, Couch Bound Crowd

Winter is upon us, though it’s hard to tell from the toasty spring temperatures we’re currently experiencing. Regardless, December is more than half gone, and students will be home after an arduous semester of academic work. You have all earned a break to spend time with loved ones, sharing seasonal treats and putting your Netflix accounts to good use.

But after a couple of weeks, you’re sure to get a little restless. And while not likely anxious for the start of a new semester, you will find yourself wanting to vary your TV bingeing with other activities. We recommend you do a bit of planning. This doesn’t mean writing a five or ten year plan, but maybe just taking time to plan for spring and summer terms. You’ll be surprised how even a small amount of forethought will yield bigger rewards when the time comes for more serious career/professional planning.

Even the most dedicated television watcher can do the activities below without leaving the couch!

  • Browse the Internet (i.e. do some research). Internships are one of the best ways to prepare for the career of your choice. It helps to know ahead of time what career(s) you may plan to pursue. Start by browsing the listings (more than 700 each month) on Pratt Pro to get an idea of the career paths available to you and the skills you’ll need to pursue a variety of opportunities. The listings include lots of internships, so you can go on to thinking about when and where you may want to intern.
  • We definitely recommend getting started on a résumé, if you haven’t already, simply by keeping a detailed list of skills and accomplishments. When it’s time to actually craft a résumé, the hardest part will be done. If you’re ready for more of a challenge, log into Pratt Pro and use the Résumé Builder (under the Resources tab) to draft your résumé. And once you’re logged in, you may as well click the Calendar tab and set up an appointment to meet with a career adviser next spring to go over your résumé (and portfolio, cover letter, etc.).
  • Make a social schedule (with a professional twist). New York City has dozens, probably hundreds, of career-related events each week. Take a look at sites like Meetup, Uncubed, Findspark, and our own events page, to find events that will fit your schedule. Panels, conferences, networking mixers, recruiting fairs…they’re all around, and many are free. Make a plan to attend at least 3 each semester, and start building a professional network this way.
  • Read a book. Do it to prove that you can read for pleasure and not just for class. The Career Ambassadors have reviewed some great books, in case you need a bit of help choosing. Browse the Peer Book Report on Pratt Success.
  • Read the Alumni Diaries. This year we started a new series written by alumni from the class of 2015. They’ve been sharing their stories and will continue to do so next spring. Catch up on their experiences as recent Pratt graduates and heed their very sage advice.

Use your winter break to relax, replenish, and ponder the possibilities. We’ll see you again in 2016!

About Robert Carabay