While relaxation is certainly important, the summer months also offer a valuable professional growth and development opportunity. So, why not bask in the sunshine while elevating your skills and knowledge? Here are some uplifting ways to embark on a summer of professional development! 

Internships with Impact

Seek out internships that align with your career interests and goals. Whether it’s a remote position with a startup or an in-person opportunity with a local organization, internships provide hands-on experience and invaluable insights into your field of study. 

Explore workshops and online courses to enhance your skill set

As a student, you have free access to Infobase Learning Cloud. Infobase offers training, professional development courses, and step-by-step tutorials on common software like the Adobe suite. It’s a great resource for you to continue learning and growing in your professional skills (and earn badges, certificates, etc.). Get started at MiamiOH.edu/LearningCloud. 

You can also check out platforms like Coursera, Udemy, and LinkedIn Learning offer a plethora of courses ranging from graphic design to project management. Choose topics that excite you and dive into the world of continuous learning!

Networking Events

Attend networking events, both virtual and in-person, to expand your professional circle. From industry-specific conferences to local meetups, networking provides opportunities to connect with professionals in your field, gain mentorship, and explore potential career paths. To find these opportunities, check with your city’s Chamber of Commerce or search on LinkedIn or Facebook for professional groups based in your city! Try search terms like “young professionals” or “new professionals”!

Volunteer Opportunities

Give back to your community while developing valuable skills through volunteer work. Whether it’s tutoring, event planning for a nonprofit, or organizing a fundraiser, volunteering allows you to hone leadership, communication, and teamwork skills in a meaningful way. And it’s definitely another thing you can add to your resume and talk about in interviews!

Personal Projects

Channel your creativity into personal projects that showcase your talents and interests. Whether it’s starting a blog, launching a podcast, or developing a portfolio website, personal projects demonstrate initiative and passion to potential employers. You can also consider conducting a research project!

Professional Development Books 

Dive into inspiring books that offer insights into personal and professional growth. From classics like “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey to contemporary bestsellers like “Grit” by Angela Duckworth, reading can spark new ideas and perspectives. There are also some great podcasts out there, if you need a break from reading this summer. 

Mentorship Programs

Seek out mentorship programs that pair you with experienced professionals in your field. Mentors can provide guidance, advice, and support as you navigate your academic and professional journey. Miami has our own online networking tool – Alumni Connect – that can help you connect to alumni in your field of interest!

Industry Research and Trends

Stay informed about industry trends and developments by reading industry publications, following thought leaders on social media, and attending webinars and panel discussions. Understanding industry trends will equip you with knowledge and insights that can set you apart in interviews and conversations.

Language Learning

Expand your linguistic horizons by learning a new language. Whether it’s through online courses, language exchange programs, or immersive experiences, proficiency in a second language can open doors to global opportunities and enhance your cultural competence. You can start small with the classic Duolingo!

Self-Reflection and Goal-Setting

Take time for self-reflection to identify your strengths, weaknesses, and career aspirations. Set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) goals for the summer and beyond, and create a plan to achieve them.

Summer is not just a season of relaxation; it’s a season of growth, exploration, and transformation. By embracing opportunities for professional development, college students can make the most of their summer break while preparing for a future filled with possibilities. So, seize the sunshine and opportunities and elevate your skills to new heights!

Chi Truong | Class of 2026