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Officials at Columbia and Stern Offer Winter Break Tips for MBA Students

In business school, Winter Break can offer a much-needed chance to catch up on sleep and relax. However, it is also a chance to take a few steps to make yourself a better candidate for interesting post-MBA jobs. Recently, Businessweek published an article of advice for business school students who want to capitalize on their Winter Break free time. To gather advice, Businessweek interviewed officials from the top business schools.

Regina Resnick, the managing director of the Career Management Center at Columbia Business School, recommends that MBAs make it known that they will be in a particular area and available to work on projects over Winter Break. Working on a project can give students the chance to explore industries of interest. Resnick says that students can work with a startup to help the company develop, do some freelance consulting work, or volunteer for a nonprofit to gain valuable business experience during their break.

Pamela Mittman, the assistant dean of Career Services and Leadership Development at New York University’s Stern School of Business, recommends connecting with people over break. It can be particularly valuable to visit previous employers to reconnect and leave the door open for future opportunities and recommendations. She also suggests inviting alumni in the area to have coffee or an informational meeting.

Officials from other business schools also had great ideas for making Winter Break productive. One recommended that students shadow a CEO in a local company, while another suggested that students start a blog or twitter feed to develop their social media presence and skills. Finally, another official observed that Winter Break provides students with time that they can use to read books and newspaper articles about their chosen field.

The experts provide several good ideas for Winter Break, but the general idea behind all of them is the same: take the time to increase your knowledge of your chosen field. Whether you read books about the field, talk to individuals already working in that field, or complete a project for a company, break is a time for taking a step away from business school to explore your future options.

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