How to Maximize Your Summer Break During a Pandemic

How to Maximize Your Summer Break During a Pandemic

Typical summer breaks offer college students the opportunity to recharge for the school year ahead, grow professionally and academically, and have fun. Although things are looking up with the country’s vaccination roll out, unfortunately this upcoming break will not be a typical summer for students since the majority of companies and local businesses are not hiring for intern positions. At First Workings, we encourage alumni to continue to make the most of their summer breaks with the tips below. 

Online Summer Classes

Many colleges have transitioned their summer classes online and a number of schools have also piloted new online academic options. The virtual environment gives the wonderful opportunity to take classes from a different school, especially as you aren’t constrained to a specific location. Do your research before committing to a program because transferring credits can be difficult.  

Skill Development       

Breaks during college offer you the chance to develop hard and soft skills. You can strengthen skills that are required within your field of interest and also general skills you are simply interested in developing. 

  • LinkedIn Learning – Explore this site for thousands of videos and trainings on a variety of topics
  • UDemy – Unlike college courses that are tough on a budget, this site offers free and discounted courses that are taught by professors, entrepreneurs, and professionals
  • EdX – Similar to UDemy with classes at a discounted price, you can enroll in classes that are offered at Harvard, Berkeley, Dartmouth, the University of Chicago, and more
  • Forage – This site provides employer-created projects, simulations, and trainings designed to help students learn the key skills needed in an industry
  • Mango – An online language learning resource with +70 different language options

Update Your Documents

Take the time to make any updates to your resume, cover letter templates, writing samples, and portfolios. Use your break to be prepared for future opportunities. Utilize online resources to become familiar with resume and cover letter templates, especially what’s typical within your field of interest.

Informational Interviews

Informational interviews are a useful tool for exploring possible career paths, developing an understanding of a specific field, and expanding one’s professional network. Take advantage of this time to make connections with new people or reconnect with someone in your network. Schedule a 15-20 minute informational interview with someone you want to learn more from. View common informational interview questions here.


Similar to internships, volunteering is a wonderful experience to add to your resume and shows that you engaged with your community during some downtime. Volunteering also gives you the chance to network with likeminded people who are also dedicating their time to a good cause. Volunteering with organizations you are interested serves as a benefit of getting experience to figure out if you are interested in applying for positions in that field in the future. If you prefer remote work, there is also virtual volunteer opportunities. Search online to see what volunteer opportunities are available in your area.

Apply for scholarships

Fewer students apply for scholarships during the summer months since many scholarships are due during the academic year. The fact there is a smaller application pool can work in your favor. We encourage you to gather your application materials and do a Google search of different scholarships. Check out a running list of current scholarships with summer due dates from

Pursue your hobbies and interests

Do not forget to enjoy yourself during summer break! Explore your hobbies and interests with your few months of time off. Employers prefer to recruit employees who are well-rounded and have interests outside of work so exploring your hobbies over summer break can be beneficial for future interviews. What do you like to do and what interests you? Enjoy summer break, especially after the emotionally exhausting year we have had.