DePaul University Career Center's Blog

Don’t Waste Your Break: 5 Career Moves to Make

By: Allison Smolinski, Assistant Director, Employer Engagement

It’s here! The first snow has fallen, the tree is up in Millennium Park, Christkindlmarket is bustling, and the holiday radio stations have started. Ready or not, the holiday season is upon us. So is winter break.

You’re probably thinking of all the Netflix shows you’ll binge and the pounds of home cooked meals you’ll consume over the next month, but break is also a great time to make some career moves. This holiday season, dissuade those ever-badgering family members’ questions about your future by taking some of these steps:

1. Update your resume

You just finished a whole quarter’s worth of classes (go you!). Now, before you forget everything you did for the past 10 weeks, put it on your resume! Our Peer Career Advisors can give you feedback on your updates and you don’t even have to leave the couch. Email them at

2. Get a Seasonal Part-time Job

If you need some experience to put on said resume (some extra cash never hurts around the holidays either), look into a seasonal part time-job. Local retailers, food service, and even some other professional industries always need extra help this time of year and it doesn’t have to be a long-term commitment for you!

3. Volunteer

‘Tis the season of giving and sharing and what better gifts to bestow than your time and help? Food pantries, churches, foundations, homeless shelters: the possibilities are endless and so many can use help this time of year. It’s also great resume content to show community engagement and activism! Don’t know where to look? WGN and Chicago Cares list some great local options to help those in need.   

4. Apply to Winter Internships

Not looking for something to start ASAP? No problem! That doesn’t have to halt your productivity over break. Many companies are hiring for Winter and Spring internships right now! If you want an internship or still need to fulfill your experiential learning credit, set daily or weekly application goals for yourself to keep on track. Also keep an eye on all the employers registering for the Winter Internship Fair to give yourself a leg up on the competition.

5. Job Shadow

If you’re still at an exploratory stage or just want to dip your toe in a new environment, shadow someone! You’re out of school, but the real world is still working—they’d probably even enjoy the change of pace. Who do you ask? One of the hundreds of mentors we have on our ASK network, a family friend, an alum you found on LinkedIn, or whoever you want. Just get out there and get shadowing!


Still need more guidance? Make an appointment with a Career Advisor on Handshake today!

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