Suggestions for Summer

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Professional Development - Tips to Build Your Career

Suggestions for Summer

We asked SPS members on social media what advice they have for students entering summer research or other positions, and these are their responses! Some have been edited for clarity.

Spend spring break educating yourself more about the position you’ve gotten. Talk to your advisor and other mentors. If it’s possible, reach out to your summer mentor(s) and discuss your role, focusing on any particular skills you need to develop before you start.

Save yourself a lot of time and ask questions when you’re stuck.

Ask as many questions as possible. Learn something and be happy doing it.

Talk to everyone about what they do and why they like it, or what they’d want to change.

Have a growth mindset! You’re there to learn, not perform! Talk to everyone and stay in touch.

The sooner you can do it, the better!

Don’t be afraid to ask your summer mentor about background readings and other ways to prepare prior to starting!

Never ever ever be afraid to ask for help! Asking questions is a part of the process.

Don’t be afraid to try something brand new, even if you feel underqualified. You can learn!

You’ll have more free time than you realize—check out the area, walk around town, enjoy it.


Make business cards with your LinkedIn profile, QR code, and permanent email address.

Don’t be afraid to ask your advisor questions. Stay consistent, but your mental health comes first!

Be on time so you can chat with peers and network while you wait for others to join.

Participate in any professional development your organization offers. NETWORK NETWORK NETWORK!

2019 SPS summer interns enjoy the congressional baseball game together.

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