Staying Focused on Persistence and Planning for Summer Internship
With the spring in full-swing and summer quickly approaching, mentoring pairs should take time this month to discuss planning for a summer internship or other career exploration/development experiences. March is also an important time to check-in on performance and health and well-being to help ensure students stay on track to persist to the end of the semester.
Discussion Topic #1 - Planning for Summer Internship
When it comes to finding a valuable summer internship for college students, preparation is key. Students who have done their due diligence by researching, prioritizing, and preparing for an internship have higher changes of securing one that helps them advance their life or career goals. The same goes for students who tap into their networks to guide and support them through the process. Use this conversation to explore potential internship experiences while creating a list of the resources and people (at home and on campus) that will help students explore and land their ideal summer internship.
Mentors: Start by sharing your own experience with summer internship(s). Take the lead by asking your mentee to reflect upon and discuss an ideal internship experience. You might ask:
- Thinking back to your early college years, talk about your experience exploring and identifying your career interests. What are some key take aways that you would share with someone considering a summer internship? What advice would you share with your mentee to help them navigate the process?
- What role did those in your personal and professional network play in your experience?
- Talk about your experience securing your summer internship. How did you research, select, and land your internship? What advice do you have for your mentee?
Mentors: Take the lead by asking your mentee if they have any follow-up questions based on what you shared. Then, take the lead by asking your mentee to think about and discuss an ideal internship experience and how they will approaching finding the right opportunity. You might ask:
- What are your career interests? Have you explored any of these interests during your time on campus? If so, how ? If you haven't done so yet, consider completing this career interest survey.
- Have you taken part in a job shadow, internship or other career exploration activities/experiences? If yes, what are some key take aways from your experience? If not, have you researched career exploration opportunities available through your program or employer?
- Have you set any goals to help you find and secure an internship or another meaningful career development experience? Have you created a list of the resources and people that will help you prepare for and secure your dream internship?
- What are you planning to do over spring break to maximize your planning and preparation?
- How can your mentor support you in finding your next career development experience?
Discussion Topic #2 Staying Focused on Persistence
March is the right time to check-in on participation, performance and health and well-being to help ensure students stay on track to persist. Mentees: take the lead in this section by sharing your wins, challenges and plans to stay focused on persisting to the end of the semester. Mentors: make sure that you make time to reflect upon and share your thoughts on what your mentee shares. Remember, should you need support, regardless of the topic, reach out to your program manager for guidance and resources.
- How are you feeling about your program/employer? What are some small and big wins for you so far (think about projects, performance, connections to peers in your community, etc.)?
- Are there any aspects of your program/job that you are struggling with? If you are struggling, are you seeking support from your program/employer? How about from your mentor or program manager?
- How about your health and well-being? Are you getting enough rest? Taking part in extracurricular activities? Feeling connected to your program/employer community?
- Do you feel like you are taking care of yourself physically and mentally? If not, what type of support would help you?
- As you think about the rest of the spring, what might be your biggest challenges? Do you have plans for how you can address/overcome those challenges? How can your mentor and program manager support you?
- Are you planning to transfer in the fall? If so, what have you accomplished so far? What steps do you still need to take? What support do you need from your mentor and program manager?
Mentors: close the discussion by reflecting on what has been shared. Share any additional suggestions for next steps and remember to update your program manager or any immediate support needs.