Making choices during undergraduate years for a student is never easy. The undergraduate stage is the step right before entering the professional field. Hard-work, dedication and consistency-- these three components are crucial for a successful undergraduate degree. But merely having the three factors are never enough since one must always know how to blend these factors while managing time effectively.
There are four crucial ways that undergraduate students can adapt to utilise their semester breaks properly.
Finding an internship or online course
Choosing the internship that will result in the perfect person-job fit and person-organisation fit is extremely important. Randomly selecting courses will lead to futile results because not all categories of work will add value to the professional life one wants to opt for. For instance, a person who aims to be a finance analyst will obtain a little to no benefit if he or she does a marketing based internship. Therefore, he or she must only apply for internships that will contribute to more weight in the CV for a financial position.
To select the perfect internship, it is necessary for the students to conduct some research on the available positions relevant to his or her potential career field. This research should be done during the ongoing semester, and the students then should shortlist the available positions where he or she is keen and eligible to apply. Doing internships aids a student obtain firsthand knowledge regarding the professional world, which assists him or her in performing exceptionally, compared to others who do not do internships, in the actual professional world.
Another way to enrich knowledge regarding the professional world is to do relevant online courses. There are numerous authentic websites such as Coursera, Khan Academy, Udemy, Stanford Online, Harvard Extension, and so on. Like internships, students can conduct some research on which courses they find relevant to their professional line and check the requirements necessary for applying to those courses so that no time is wasted during the semester vacation. Doing online courses that are related to the position adds to the weight of the CV. An applicant who has done more impressive online courses is likely to get hold of the job than someone who has less or no prior experience.
Acquire technical skills
It is often challenging to acquire new skills during an ongoing semester due to immense academic pressure. However, semester breaks are perfect for taking up some talents, that one has forever been desiring.
For instance, learning essential software such as- Adobe Illustrator, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Access as well as learning a new sport or skills related to arts and crafts are easy picks considering their relevance in the practical world. The skills absorbed do not necessarily have to be aligned with one's career interests but rather can feed to one's passion.
Catch up on reading
When people talk about reading, they often think about huge boring novels that will kill them to sleep. This is, however, exaggerated. People do not have to force themselves to read books that do not interest them in any way. An undergraduate studying Microbiology, for instance, can undertake a reading material that is related to this field. Reading a book or articles are, majority of the times, completely free of charge, and it results in more personalised and perpetual learning if the reader reads it out of interest. However, it is also completely alright if a person does not want to read materials that are not related to his or her chosen career path at all. Any form of reading has proven to increase creativity, thinking skills and problem-solving abilities. It provides a broader view of how the rest of the world is and learning to have a global look of issues is crucial for bringing out practical solutions to problems
One more way for utilising semester breaks is to go on a tour. Going to different places will help students understand different cultures, diversity, human relations and different views towards life. All these factors are crucial for forming a different perspective, which eventually helps in a successful career in the professional world. Besides, going on tours can also be a relaxing factor and aids in energising students for the next incoming semester.
The most challenging period students encounter is a semester break. They remain in a constant dilemma to select between procrastination and productivity during the vacation.
Using the four mentioned methods with proper time management, students will be able to utilise their semester breaks successfully.
The writer is a second-year student of BBA programme at the Institute of Business Administration, University of Dhaka. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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