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Don’t Be Spooked! Everything You Need to Know About Setting Up a Career Development Day

As we fast approach the spookiest season of all, many college students begin to tremble in fear. Not from jump-scares or lack of a good costume, but from the scariest thing of all: internship and job applications.

Yes, sadly it’s true. Many internship deadlines are fast approaching and I’m personally working to tailor resume after resume, write cover letters, and learn more about what the world has to offer. In order to manage my stress, I have created a method where I have created personal career development days. I set aside time on these days to get work done, and I find myself more productive and less stressed overall. 

Doing all of your work in one day may seem daunting, but it can help you out in a few ways. Working through all of your materials at once can help you remain in the professional mindset and help limit distractions. As many applications require cover letters and resumes with similar information, you can ensure you are putting out your best work while still tailoring it to the job at hand (the most important step!).

Actually setting up a day is pretty easy. If you already have an interview scheduled, you can use that as a starting point. If not, pick any free day on your calendar. Mark the day for development and do not schedule anything else.

Go through your piled up applications and see what you can get done in the course of the day. Whether you’re actively applying or just reworking resumes, having a plan in place before you start will reduce your stress on the day of. 

If you have any networking you can do, this is the time to do it. I tend to reach out to previous professors, supervisors from internships, or people I met in professional settings. It’s easiest to reach out to people you have already spoken to, and then ask their advice on who you should try and connect with. Start with a simple email to reconnect. You don’t have to actively send all of the requests at once — that could get overwhelming fast. Schedule send them so you have time to dedicate to each response. 

Remember, interviews and getting ready for the future can be super scary. It’s hard not to second guess decisions or feel like you’re falling behind. But this is your day! Put yourself first and keep an eye on your mental and physical health. 

And, when the day is over, walk away

Having the day dedicated to the work means that when it’s done, so are you. You can always go back and review what you did, but take a day or so to recuperate. Go pumpkin picking and celebrate!

So don’t scream, run, or try to hide. Face it head on, because you’ve totally got this.

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Elizabeth began writing for HerCampus in Spring 2021 and is currently a Sophomore Political Science major at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Outside of HerCampus, Elizabeth is a member of the Delta Mu Chapter of Alpha Chi Omega and an intern with MASSPIRG. She is interested in foreign policy and the world at large.
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