Build a Summer Plan for Your Career Goals

I’m not here to tell you that you need to create a twelve-week experiential learning rotation for yourself, complete with coding boot camps, networking nights, and an internship in the Governor’s Office. All the folks reading this post will be at varying stages in their career lifecycles and will have different career goals. Point being; your plan may be elaborate but it doesn’t have to be. Remember, just by doing something about your career goals – anything at all – you are diligently making progress. You’re already on the right track by being here, so let’s look and see what you can find time for this summer:

Update Your Professional Portfolio

There’s nothing more stressful than finally finding that dream job and then needing to scramble to get your application materials in order before you can apply. Do yourself a favor – use this time to get everything up-to-date. Your future-self will thank you. Start by updating your resume and uploading to VMock for instant, on-demand scoring and feedback. Draft a cover letter outline and keep a journal of ways you can connect your relevant experience to a new job or internship. Prep for interviews when the heat is off (bad summer pun…I’ll see myself out) by practicing real-world behavioral and technical questions. Are you working at a job or internship this summer? Add those tasks, accomplishments, and experiences to your LinkedIn profile while it’s still fresh in your mind. Want to highlight your spring or summer classwork? Add it to your resume or LinkedIn page. Learned a new skill recently? Add it to the skills section and get endorsements from bosses, coworkers, professors, and peers. Putting your portfolio together and maintaining it is a much less scary job when you break it down into manageable steps.

Start a Job or Internship

Odds are good that your job or internship search is the reason you clicked on this post in the first place, so I’ll get right to the good stuff. Below are a number of resources for BU students and a number of public resources to help you land a job or internship.


  • Handshake (find internships and jobs)
  • CareerShift (find jobs, track applications, research employers, contact recruiters and alumni) Try logging in to Handshake first to get Single Sign On access to CareerShift.
  • BU Connects (connect with BU alumni, search jobs and internships, track applications)


  • FindSpark (find creative roles – New York and Chicago-specific)
  • HireCulture (find creative roles – Massachusetts-specific)
  • Idealist (connect with nonprofit and social impact organizations)
  • Indeed (search jobs and research companies)
  • Uncubed (search “job board” on this page to find positions at startups)
  • (find jobs with the federal government)
  • Search for employers ranked by their commitment to diversity and inclusion, such as The Boston Globe’s “Top Places to Work,” which includes Commonwealth Care Alliance, Accenture, MassMutual, Slalom, Nuance Communications, HubSpot, Visiting Angels Newton/Canton, Justice Resource Institute, Akamai Technologies, and DraftKings (Johnston, 2021)

Build Your Skills

Not getting what you need with “on the job training”? Can’t fit a job or internship into your schedule this summer? Take experience building into your own hands. Check out my blog post “Developing Hard Skills with Online Courses” for more.

Leverage Your Network

No time for an internship this summer? Want to see what people really do in their day-to-day work? Wondering what it’s really like to work for a given employer? Try looking for job shadowing opportunities this summer. Try to set up some informational interviews. These can be fairly short, low-commitment, high-impact activities that can help you make decisions about your career (what you want to do, what you need to learn). You may have luck through your own network or on BU Connects.

Make an Appointment With the CCD

Make an appointment at the Center for Career Development if you are stuck building your plan or need help with any of the steps mentioned above.

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