Career Advice / December 11, 2020

New Year's Resolutions for Smith Students

New Year's Resolutions for Smith Students

It is almost the end of 2020 and we all know what that means; it’s time to start thinking about your New Year’s resolutions. We’re all familiar with the typical resolutions that get thrown about, exercise more, lose weight, save money, et cetera. And while those are all fine and good goals, I wanted to throw out a few different ideas this year that could be helpful for business students who are on the job search.

New Year’s Resolution idea:

Make more connections. Tis the season to meet new people. In 2021, make it goal to reach out more. There are lots of people out there, including alumni, recruiters and industry leaders, who would love to talk to you about your questions and aspirations regarding a new career. Don’t be afraid to send out that email or LinkedIn message asking for a quick chat.

Update your resume. When did you last take the time to update your resume? We all know that we should be updating it regularly, but for many of us it doesn’t happen quite as often as it should. If it’s been a while since you last updated your resume but can’t think of anything to add, then maybe that’s a sign that it’s time to learn a new skill. (See the next tip).

Get familiar with a new software. Learning how to use a new software or becoming familiar with a particular software language can be a great resume builder. Companies love to see that you’re adept with the software they use, whether that be Excel, Tableau, SAS or others. Even if the software you learn isn’t the exact one that your dream company uses, you’ll still be showing that you’re willing to take initiative and are a capable learner. 

Practice your interview skills. Whether it's practicing in the mirror or getting help from a friend or mentor, it's always helpful to brush up on your interview skills. Have prepared answers for common interview questions and work on your delivery. It’s good to be able to draw from a handful of stories that showcase your competencies.

Help someone else out with their job search. Just remember that a lot of your friends and classmates are in the same boat you are. Whether it's helping people build connections by introducing previous co-workers to someone else trying to break into that industry, or offering to help practice interview questions, there’s always a way to help out. The job search becomes easier when we’re all willing to help each other out and sometimes it feels good to just give back.

Happy holidays and have a happy New Year.

–By Braden Walden. Walden is a current MBA candidate set to graduate in 2021. Originally from Chicago, he has lived in New York, Seoul, Washington, D.C., and Baltimore. Following graduation, Walden is set to start a new career at Navy Federal Credit Union.

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About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business

The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and part-time MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, specialty master's, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.

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