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During the month of March universities all over the whole country are taking a spring break. Students go on trips to relax and take a break from studying but students also participate in programs sponsored by their institutions that are community service-based and/or career development driven. Northwestern University is no different.

Next week at Northwestern is finals week. But after those tests and papers are turned in, hundreds of students are participating in programs like NEXT- Northwestern’s Externship Program.

Did you miss the deadlines for these and other programs? If you are nodding your head yes then I’ve got some advice on how to Do It Yourself (DIY) during Spring Break.


NEXT is a program which Northwestern Alumni volunteer to host students for a day at their place of employment. Students can learn the ropes and job shadow to gain experience and knowledge of their chosen field. To DIY this program research alumni that are in your preferred geographic area and career field of interest using the Northwestern Alumni Directory Career Network. Once you have found an alum who is of interest, contact them to introduce yourself. Ask them questions about their career path and at the end of your conversation inquire if they would be open to you job shadowing them for a day.


Alternative Student Breaks offers students the chance to use their school breaks in a meaningful way through community service. To DIY this program visit websites like Idealist, VolunteerMatch or geographic specific service sites like Chicago Cares or New York Cares. There are various volunteer programs that you can participate in on your own or with a small group. Community service is potentially a way to meet people that could be important to your network and could lead to employment, but also a great way to make a difference.

Connect with UCS

Lastly, if your plans are already set for Spring Break and you don’t have time to volunteer or job shadow at least make time to connect with University Career Services. Do you have 45 minutes? Then you have time to have your resume reviewed, cover letter reviewed and to talk about your internship or job search. Use all of your resources and connect with people who care about you and your future.