5 Things Duke Rising Sophomores Might Do To Make the Most of This Summer

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Alicia Rhodes, Assistant Director, Duke University Career Center
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Congratulations class of 2023, you made it through your first year at Duke! I hope that you were able to adjust well in your new environment, learn to navigate through some of your resources, and make new friends! As you are navigating your summer during these unprecedented times, we would like to make sure that you know the Career Center is available for you via remote access, even throughout the summer. We are here to guide you as you move forward this summer and as you think about what your sophomore year may bring. Take a look at these five things you can do to make sure you are spending your time wisely and preparing for your first semester as a sophomore.

  1. Reflect

Make sure you reflect on your first year at Duke. What did you learn about yourself? Who are you becoming? What were some of your best and worst memories throughout the academic year and how can they play a role as you think about future decision making?

Taking the time to reflect will give you a chance to acknowledge what you’ve accomplished and learned about yourself, but also provide you with the tools needed to make intentional decisions as you embrace your next experience.

  1. Connect

Take the time to connect with individuals you interact with throughout your summer. Share your story, learn about who they are and what they do, as this is a great way for you to continue exploring different roles and industries. You still have access to your Duke alum network during summer break, so make sure to utilize the Duke Alumni Directory and LinkedIn to research and connect with alums!

  1. Set Goals

After you have had a chance to reflect, set clear and achievable goals for yourself this summer. Doing so will make it easier for you to navigate what you would like to accomplish. It is summer break, so the goals do not have to be difficult, however you do want to make sure you have something interesting to share when asked, “what did you do over the summer?” Keep in mind that COVID-19 is not an isolated incident, as we are all in this together, therefore employers and graduate school representatives know that spring/summer 2020 required a ton of adjusting and may not include internships or studying abroad. However, this is a time where you can be creative and take advantage of the resources available to you, to create an experience which you can discuss as you share your story.

  1. Be Intentional

No matter what you decide to do this summer, take time to think about what you would like to accomplish and strategize how you would like to accomplish it. Think about the skills you would like to obtain or improve, people you would like to connect with, and projects you would like to complete. Having an idea of what you would like to do will set the ball in motion for you to accomplish your goals and be intentional about your decision-making process.

  1. Use Your Resources

Although you may be away this summer, some of your campus resources will still be available to you. Inquire about some of the resources you use throughout the semester to see if they will be able to support you virtually. For example, the Career Center will be open throughout the summer! If you need assistance from a career adviser we will be happy to meet with you online or by phone, just schedule an appointment in CareerConnections!

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