Spring (Break) Fever: Connections through Socializing

You can feel it—spring break fever is in the air. Whether you have plans to ski the slopes, soak up the sun on the beach or simply enjoy the comforts of home, this well-deserved break is a great time to recharge your batteries. It can also be a great opportunity to advance your career prospects through networking. If you’re going to be home, browse the Penn Alumni Network (PACNet) to identify and contact Penn Alums who have specifically volunteered to serve as mentors. Or, take time to update your LinkedIn profile and join groups, including the Penn Alumni Group, which has over 27,000 members. This is an excellent chance to try and arrange informational interviews.

Networking can also occur in the most unexpected of circumstances. You never know who will be sitting next to you on the plane, train, or chair lift. Start conversations with those around you and do not be afraid to discuss your own interests or ask about the work that they do. Most of us are fairly narcissistic and enjoy talking about ourselves. Over the years I have heard countless stories from students and alumni about having developed connections “randomly” through chance encounters while traveling. If you have a good discussion, ask for a business card or other contact information so that you can follow-up with a thank you email once you return from break.

So enjoy your break, rest up and have a good time but don’t ignore potential networking opportunities!

Author: Claire Klieger

Claire Klieger is an Associate Director of Career Services for College of Arts & Sciences undergraduates. She earned her Ed.D. from Penn and did her undergraduate work at the University of Virginia. Fun Fact: Claire spent 11 years in the Middle East and North Africa.