Taking Advantage of Thanksgiving and Winter Break

Oh, what a semester it has been. With all the homework, exams and projects, plus the job hunt, the past few months have been busy. But finally, there is hope: Thanksgiving and winter break are around the corner.

Below are a few tips to take advantage of your upcoming break:

1) Relax. This is the time to give yourself a break. Catch up on that TV show you haven’t watched all semester. Spend time with your family, friends and loved ones you've missed spending time with since school started. Go visit that recently opened museum or try out that restaurant you keep hearing about. This is your time to heal yourself mentally and physically so that when you get back to school, you are refreshed and ready to take on any challenge.

2) Network, network, network. You may be thinking, “What an odd time to network! Do people really want to talk about work during the holidays?” You may be surprised to learn that your loved ones would be thrilled to learn more about what you've been doing recently. That one uncle who lives in St. Louis, Missouri, who you haven’t seen in years, or that cousin from Stockton, Calif., who sometimes annoys you may be the perfect people to network with. They might know contacts at the company of your dreams. Talk to them about your MBA curriculum, your job hunt or what roles interest you. If nothing else, these are decent conversational topics.

3) Read. Microsoft founder Bill Gates has been quoted as saying, “Reading is still the main way that I both learn new things and test my understanding.” Use your free time to supplement your business school learning. Maybe even try some of the titles from the 16th annual Reading List for Business Leaders, with insights from Maryland Smith's faculty. These books will increase your understanding about business and make you a better working professional.

–By Ashraf Khan. Khan is a 2020 MBA candidate and dean's fellow at Maryland Smith. He is originally from Potomac, Md., and worked as a civil engineer in the Washington, D.C., area prior to pursuing an MBA with a concentration in marketing.

Tags: