Get Ready for 2024!

We have put together a checklist of items to help you use this time to your advantage. Completing these items will ensure you are in a great position to find a post-grad job or summer internship (and calm some of your anxieties in the process).

Winter Break Checklist

Before the first day of spring semester in January, we recommend you:

  • Complete all the activities in dark blue
  • Complete at least one activity in light blue. The more you do, the more confident and prepared you will be for your spring job or internship search!

Complete Your Handshake Profile

Complete your Handshake profile, including work experience, courses, extracurricular activities, and more. Add a photo and summary to help your profile stand out. If you’ve never logged in to Handshake, activate your account by logging in to the platform using your Agora username and password.

In addition:

  • Follow at least 5 employers on Handshake.
  • Register to attend a spring semester career event such as a panel, workshop, or information session.
  • Search for jobs or internships that are of interest to you. Take note of the deadlines and start to apply!

Want more? Take the 10-Day Handshake Profile Challenge.

Sign Up for a Career Cluster(s)

To sign up for a career cluster(s) and receive newsletters related to your interests, update your career interests in Handshake. By updating your interests, not only will you receive updates and resources from our coaches, you’ll be 5x more likely to hear from relevant employers directly about open positions and upcoming events.

We have six different industry-focused career clusters to choose from. Read through the industries that fall within each career cluster to see which appeals to you.

Are you interested in more than two clusters or unsure of your career interests? That's ok! We recommend making an appointment in January with one of our Exploration coaches to get started.

Connect with BC Alumni on Eagle Exchange

Complete or update your Eagle Exchange profile and reach out to 2-3 alums on Eagle Exchange to schedule an informational interview. Log in to your Eagle Exchange account with your Agora credentials.

Don't know what to say in your initial outreach message? Eagle Exchange provides you with templates.

  • Log in to Eagle Exchange
  • Find an alum with whom you are interested in talking. You can browse your recommended connections or explore the community.
  • Click 'Message' or, if in their profile, 'Let's Connect'.
  • Select a template message to edit or write your own outreach message. Click 'Send'. Note: you may also click 'Request a Meeting' below the message box to schedule time to meet. If you do this, also be sure to send a message to provide context to your meeting request.
  • Repeat the steps above at least 1-2 more times!

Prepare for the conversation using this list of questions or feel free to come up with your own questions (but remember to never ask directly for a job or interview).

Update Your Resume

Create or update your resume using the step-by-step information and sample resumes by career cluster on the Career Center website. If you’d like feedback on your resume, attend drop-ins starting at the beginning of the spring semester or schedule a virtual drop-in over winter break.

Learn About Yourself

Before you make career decisions, we encourage you to invest time into learning more about yourself. Identifying your skills, interests, and values will equip you with the critical self knowledge needed when exploring career fields and different pathways. If you would like to debrief any of your results, please make an appointment with a Career Exploration coach on Handshake.

  • Watch this video of former BC professor Fr. Michael Himes discussing three key questions - what brings me joy? What am I good at? What does the world need me to do?
  • Assess your interests, skills and values by taking Focus 2

  • Reflect on your future goals by completing an Odyssey Plan

Develop a Search Plan

Depending on where you are in your career discernment and planning, develop your own personalized job/internship search plan to set goals and deadlines for yourself throughout the semester.

Need help with your plan? Schedule time to meet with a career coach or talk to a trusted mentor, advisor, friend, or family member.

 

Reflect on Your Career Readiness

Every class, job, internship, leadership position, etc. that you participate in throughout your Boston College education is preparing you for a meaningful personal and professional life ahead. The ability to recognize and articulate how these experiences are helping you develop the skills employers are seeking will help you in all stages of the career development process, from … to ….

Learn about core competencies employers most value, and reflect on your own career readiness and skills.

Create or Update Your LinkedIn Profile

Create or update your LinkedIn profile, using the Career Center website.

Practice Interviewing

Start preparing for your interviews and practice articulating your skills through the Big Interview platform.

  • Go to BC’s Big Interview page. Click 'Register' in the top right corner or sign in if you have previously registered. Use your BC email address to create a free account
  • Review interview resources, tips, and videos in the platform if you choose
  • Click on ‘Practice’ at the top to find interview questions that you’d like to practice answering.
  • Share your recording with someone (your choice) for feedback. This could be a mentor, a supervisor, a family member, a friend or someone else who will provide you with both positive and constructive feedback.
  • Use the AI feature for immediate feedback and suggestions on how to improve. This tool tracks and analyzes your use of “filler” words, rate of speech, eye contact, vocabulary, and more.
  • Review and consider the feedback you receive.

Meet with a Career Coach

Our coaches will be available in December and January (before and after the week-long holiday break), including for virtual appointments. Schedule a career coaching appointment in Handshake if you have questions about your search plan or feel stuck.

Learn About Hiring Timelines

Different industries have very different hiring timelines, which impact the months you would see the most job and internship openings and when you would actively apply for jobs or internships. For example, among BC students seeking internships for the summer of 2023:

  • In Education, Nonprofit and Social Impact, 17% received their offers before December, while 83% were offered their internships between January and May. 

  • In Consulting, Finance and Business,  46% received their offers before December, while 54% were offered their internships between January and May. 

Learn more about hiring timelines for internships and post-graduation jobs. Use the “Career Cluster” field to filter your results.

Connect with Peers for Internships

While connecting with alumni and other professionals is extremely helpful, it can be just as valuable to connect with your peers to learn about their professional experiences. Here are two resources to facilitate these peer connections:

  • We have compiled a Summer Experience Database to help connect you with other BC students to learn about internship experiences. Use the database to find students who completed internships that you may be interested in and reach out to them to discuss their summer experience and search strategies.

  • On Handshake, you can read job and internship reviews from students at BC and other schools. Then you can reach out to them for more information! Conduct a search through the Jobs link, and look for students in the Working At section of each job listing.

Complete a Project

Complete a project on Forage to build some concrete career skills. Through the Forage platform, you can sign up for a 5-6 hour project where you are given a hypothetical set of tasks that an employee would expect to complete on a given work day. You will gain valuable career skills and build your resume.

Take a LinkedIn Learning Course

Start building professional skills with LinkedIn Learning, an on-demand learning solution designed to help you gain new skills. Courses include the latest technology, creative, and business skills, delivered through high-quality instructional videos. These bite-size courses are perfect for students attempting to build new skills over winter break!

Build an Online Portfolio

Build an online portfolio to showcase your work to potential future employers. Use this resource for tips.

Review Online Presence

Review and revise your online presence, following the suggestions in this blog post.

Save the Date

Check out our industry-specific Career Fairs and Networking Nights to be held throughout the spring semester. Fairs and networking events are a great opportunity to make connections with employers and learn about job and internship opportunities. Completing the Winter Break Checklist activities will help you prepare.

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