Published: Dec. 14, 2022

Whether you want to progress in your job or internship search or fill downtime with productive activities, here are some steps you can take over winter break.

Upgrade your skills

Learn new things and expand your existing skills to gain an edge over other candidates. While the courses you take include many skills you’ll need, there are different ways to develop skills outside the classroom.


CU students have free access to LinkedIn Learning. This resource includes hundreds of courses that cover technical skills (HTML, data analytics, project management) and non-technical skills (communication, teamwork, problem-solving, leadership).


If you want to upgrade your knowledge but aren’t sure where to start, browse job postings for positions that interest you. Take note of the skills or qualifications employers are looking for and find courses to develop those skills. Consider starting with courses that build on transferable skills. These non-technical skills are often the most desired and apply to any job industry.


Sharpen your professional toolkit

Spend time over winter break working on application materials and practices that will help you stand out.


Review the Buff Up Your Skills series in our video resource library for more tips and resources. You can also make a virtual appointment with a career development advisor to review your resume, practice for interviews and get more tips for your job search.


Connect with others

Building a network of professionals, professors and peers gives you an advantage. People from your network can act as references or connect you to job or internship opportunities.


Make a list of 21 people you know, and plan to reach out to a new person each day over winter break. Think about connections that you have already. 


  • Friends who are recent graduates

  • Supervisors or peers from volunteer work

  • Former co-workers, classmates or campus organization members

  • Family friends

Connect with them on LinkedIn and start a conversation. Or send an informal email to check in and ask how they’re doing. Networking can be intimidating, but at its core, it is all about building and maintaining relationships.



You can meet new people and make a positive difference in your community through volunteering. Plus, you can support a cause you care about and learn new skills. The experiences you gain can be an excellent point of discussion in a future job interview.


When it comes to volunteering, there’s something for everyone. From working with animals to politics to the environment, there are plenty of opportunities to match your interests and fit your schedule. Reach out to the Volunteer Resource Center to learn more about finding service opportunities.


Pursue a passion project

Apply an innovation mindset to your winter break by pursuing one of your passions. You may have an idea for a product that could improve our lives. Perhaps you’ve been considering opening a store on Etsy. Maybe you want to build a website for your portfolio. Whatever it is, try out your idea and see if it works. Watch TED Talks, check out LinkedIn Learning or read books to develop your entrepreneurial mindset. The experience and knowledge you gain from your passion project can help guide your career path.


Take care of yourself

While it can feel like you should be productive over winter break, focusing on self-care is also essential. Professional development comes second to your mental and physical well-being. Find balance by getting 7-9 hours of sleep, eating regular meals, finding time for physical activity and staying in touch with friends and family. For more tips, visit the Health and Wellness Services website.