How to handle questions when you’re home on summer breakKelly Woods
Q. What are you doing now? How do you like school?
This is a simple question that should be easy to answer. But if you’re having trouble coming up with more than just “It’s good,” here are some smart convo ideas:
- I just finished my [first, second, etc.] year at Mount Holyoke College ...
- This spring I took classes in X, Y and Z ...
- I’m starting to get involved with/I’d like to explore opportunities in ...
- The thing that surprised me most this past semester is ...
- An accomplishment I’m most proud of is ...
Q. What are you thinking about next? What’s your major? What are you going to do after graduation? What on earth do you think you’ll do with that major?!
Adults love these questions. And everyone will have (mostly) well-meaning advice on what he or she thinks you should do. No need to fear! Start with these:
- Ultimately I think I want to study X with the goal of being/doing Y ...
- I am hoping to [insert research or internship goal here].
- I’m not sure exactly what my long-term goals are yet, but I am hoping they’ll include X, Y and Z ...
- Did you know that [insert the name of an impressive person here] also majored in [insert your major here]?
- My mentor’s career path is so interesting. It involved ...
Now it’s your turn to ask the questions!
After giving a polite update response and practicing your elevator pitch, it is totally appropriate to deflect and probe — especially if you do so with a smile.
- What about you? I understand that you are involved with X? What is that like?
- Did I hear that [insert the name of a mutual acquaintance] got a new job with X/had an internship doing Y/traveled to Z? How did he or she first get interested in that? Do you think he or she would be willing to speak with me about this experience?
- Are you doing what you thought you would be doing when you were my age? Tell me about your path. Is there anything you wish you had done differently? What advice would you give your younger self?
Most important of all? Be confident.
You are smart, talented and definitely going places. It’s your path. Own it!
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