Professional Bootcamp: How To Spend Your Summer Part 2

Find a Mentor

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Get there alone, Luke Skywalker did not. He had some super BA mentors along the way. You might not have a tiny green Jedi master in your life, but you probably have some older and more experienced friends who are willing to help you on your hero’s journey. Depending on your chosen path, you may find a mentor in a teacher, a boss or older co worker, a person who attends your church, or somebody you volunteer with. Mentors don’t necessarily need to fit the Obi-Wan mold of being a wise old sage, sometimes it might just be somebody a few years further along in their career. You don’t need to choose just one, but forging relationships with experienced professionals can help you learn some valuable lessons. Don’t be shy, if you find somebody great don’t be afraid to ask them straight up. Make sure to keep in contact with them with regular meetings, phone calls, emails, or whatever works for you. Mentors are a super valuable resource.

Build Your Knowledge

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There’s no better way to look and feel super fierce going into your career then by dropping some knowledge bombs. Whatever you field of interest, there are sure to be some really interesting books, podcasts, documentaries, and other fun stuff to help build your knowledge. Rather than harping on this point, below are some book that Robert (my fiance) and I love and have found really helpful. All of them are great regardless of your career path, be a some may be little more relevant than others.

For anybody:

7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

Strength Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath

Boundaries by Henry Cloud and John Townsend

Documentaries about your interest

Podcasts by professionals in your field

Biographies of notable professionals who did what you want to do

Librivox is also a great source for free audio books where you can find classics in all fields

For those interested in business:

Good to Great by Jim Collins

Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt

The Goal by Eliyahu Goldratt and Jeff Cox

For law, government, or politics:

Rules for Radicals by Saul Alinsky

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Benjamin Franklin’s Autobiography by Ben Franklin (duh)

My Early Life by Winston Churchill

Books about the lives of great leaders

Political and economic philosophy

For startups and young entrepreneurs:

The Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki

Good Profit by Charles Koch

For marketing:

Enchantment by Guy Kawasaki

For ministry and missions:

The Little Woman by Gladys Aylward

Use Your Skills

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The best way to do something is just to do it. Find ways to start using your talents and building some name recognition. Work on a personal project to build your portfolio, write some op-eds for a local (or bigger) new organization, create a website, found a meetup group, or work on a business plan. Don’t let your age or inexperience dissuade you from starting doing what you want to be doing. Don’t look back on your summer and wish you had more hands on experience, seek it out at every opportunity and put yourself to the test

Have Fun!

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Don’t forget to take some time to have fun and celebrate making it through another year of school. You’ve got a future to look forward to, but you’ve got right now to enjoy, so don’t miss the moment. Whatever it is you do for fun make sure you do it this summer along with some new fun things too. Find a new cool book store, restaurant, or coffee shop. Go on a spontaneous trip with some friends. Meet somebody new and visit the people you care about. Make some new memories and take some stellar pictures. You’re only young once, friends, now is the time for brave new adventures.

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