School May Be Out, but Learning Is Always In: Don’t Sleep on Developing Skills this Summer!

silhouettes of five people jumping on beachSummer is a great time to develop new skills. If you’re doing an internship or Field Project, you’re bound to learn a lot on the job. Listen, ask questions and take advantage of the many opportunities to put your classroom knowledge to work.

Even if your internship is remote, get to know your manager and, if appropriate, set up informational meetings with others at your company too. This way, you can learn about different business units and roles, and network with colleagues across the organization. The more you put yourself out there, show interest in your work and collaborate with others, the more likely you will be to get a return offer or positive reference at the end of your internship.

But internships and Field Projects are not the only ways to develop your skills this summer. Employers love a self starter, who takes the initiative to develop new talents on his or her own. Below are just a few ways to continue to learn, even when classes are out for the summer.

Safari Books Online
Safari Books Online provides access to basic programming, computer software and digital versions of many technology books and guides, including statistical software operation and usage manuals (Excel, MATLAB, Python, R, SAS, SPSS, SAS, etc.). Perhaps it’s time to learn a new programming language this summer!

LinkedIn Learning
LinkedIn Learning offers video courses on a variety of topics, including “Excel for Business Analysts,” “SQL: Data Reporting and Analysis” and “Delivery Tips for Speaking in Public.” The options are plenty so take some time to scroll through your choices and pick one (or more than one!) that will enhance your background.

Brandeis Library Newsstand
As you interact with new coworkers this summer and start to interview more for full time roles in fall, you may encounter conversations and questions related to industry knowledge, current events and favorite books and periodicals. Take advantage of down time to read up on what’s going on in the world and in your industry. The Library has access to everything from the Economist to the Boston Globe.

Big Interview
Big Interview is an online system that combines training AND practice to help improve your interview technique and build your confidence. Big Interview offers a variety of tools including:
• Challenging, virtual mock interviews for all experience levels and hundreds of industries
• A database of thousands of interview questions with tips on how to answer them
• A comprehensive video training curriculum covering all aspects of landing a job
• A step-by-step interview Answer Builder for crafting answers to behavioral questions

CQ Interactive
Case Questions Interactive provides you with the skill exercises you’ll need to perform well in interviews. It is chock full of math questions, market-sizing questions, eight case starts and twelve full cases that you can work through plus lots more information.

Library Workshops & Events
Brandeis Library offers workshops on research strategies, data analysis and management, GIS, software for quantitative and qualitative analysis, subject-specific resources and more. Upcoming workshops that may be of particular interest, include:

Keep in mind, your new skill or talent may not be an academic one – and that’s okay! Learning R or Python over the summer might be hugely valuable to your career success, but exploring a new hobby, running a marthon or volunteering for a cause you’re passionate about are also wonderful ways to become a more well-rounded person, show passion and curiousity in job interviews and extend your network. The idea is to identify ways to continue to learn and grow over summer break. How you do that is up to you!

By Rachel Wasdyke
Rachel Wasdyke Director, Corporate Engagement & Strategic Communications