Can’t you feel it in the air? In
just a few short weeks, summer
break will be here — bringing a
much-needed respite from exams,
roommates, labs, dining hall food,
and all-nighters. How sweet it will
be to rest, recharge, and have fun
Vegging out will be fun — but realize, too, that summer break also brings a
three-month window of opportunity that
you won’t likely experience again once
you enter graduate school or the working
world. So try to appreciate this gift of time
and use it wisely; in particular, seek out
opportunities to build your résumé.
What kinds of opportunities should
you be looking for? Try to find hands-on,
real-world experience. Congratulations
if you’ve already landed a coveted slot
in a summer research position or an
internship! This experience will look great
on your résumé. But don’t stop there!
Make an effort to get to know fellow
students at your workplace — and other
employees as well. Set up informational
interviews. Ask to shadow people who
have positions that interest you.
If you don’t have a summer research
position lined up, don’t fret. Opportuni-
ties for gaining real-world experience
still abound! Realize that, at this point
in your life, just about ANY employment
experience will teach you valuable life
lessons and skills and give you real-world
experience. You may find that you excel
at customer service, are inspired by teach-
ing others, or find fulfillment advocating
for a social cause; these are all great ways
to get the experience you need to be an
asset to future employers or graduate
programs. But be sure to tend to your sci-
entific interests along the way too, such as
sharing your professional aspirations with
friends, neighbors, and others, including
your ACS local section leaders. They might
be able to provide leads on science-related
opportunities for next summer, or intro-
duce you to fellow science professionals.
Your summer experiences may inspire
you to pursue a particular career path—
or give you a clear sense of a particular
pathway to avoid in the future. At any
rate, real-world employment experiences
demonstrate to future employers that you
are dedicated, goal-oriented, and likely to
It’s also very important to take time
to nourish your brain and expand your
mind. Consider exploring an interest
that you didn’t have time for during the
school year, deepening your knowledge
of a favorite subject, or developing a
hobby. Or maybe your mind would thrive
through exposure to course at a community college, a massive open online
course (MOOC), TED Talks, news about
current events, or reading books. Is there
a course in your fall schedule that will be
particularly challenging for you next year?
Get the course text now and begin read-
ing and reviewing the material or explore
course topics online.
Last but not least, take advantage of
your ACS member learning resources.
Attend the 250th ACS National Meeting in Boston August 16–20, 2015
( www.acsorg/meetings); watch ACS
Webinars ( www.acs.org/acswebinars);
explore the College to Career website ( www.acs.org/collegetocareer);
catch up on reading by downloading the inChemistry app to read current and back issues of the magazine
( www.acs.org/inchemistry), or check
out the latest in Chemical & Engineering
News ( http://cen.acs.org/index.html).
However you choose to spend the next
few months, have a great summer! We’ll
connect with you again in September.
Nicole Di Fabio is the editor of
inChemistry and the manager
of the ACS Undergraduate Programs Office (UPO).
Lori Betsock is the managing
editor of inChemistry and the
senior program manager of UPO.
Most of Your
BY NICOLE DI FABIO AND LORI BETSOCK
April/May 2015 www.acs.org/undergrad • inChemistry