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May is a time of celebration. Between graduations, the semester ending, new job opportunities and summer around the corner there are a lot of things happening. The time is now to prepare for the next chapter.

Resources for Students, STEM Professionals & Scientists:

1. Use your Resources:

Even though summer is around the corner don’t forget to take advantage of the resources around you. If you are unsure what resources are available check out your discipline/university’s newsletter or ask your colleagues.

2. Get Involved:

The summer is a great time to roll up your sleeves and get involved. No matter if you are a student, professional or scientist there is an opportunity for you!

a.Volunteer:

Depending on your interests you can find a volunteer opportunity in your community, field or even abroad. Keep an open mind.

b. Do Research (Students & Scientists):

If you are a STEM undergraduate or graduate student the summer is the perfect time to get involved in research. There are many research programs through the National Institutes of Health (NIH), University Summer Bridge Programs or study abroad programs that are looking for students.

c. Participate in a Summer Program:

Many universities and professional organizations have leadership programs during the summer. These programs are a good way to enhance your leadership skills, stand out and meet people in your field.

d. Teach:

Looking for teaching experience? Volunteer at a local school to help a professor with some summer courses. Or you can help teach at a science and engineering camp, such as the Summer Engineering Experience for Kids (SEEK) with the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). This is a really great program!

e. Mentor:

Mentoring is a good thing to do all year around. If you are looking for someone to mentor check out your local community or mentor a young family member. We need more mentors in the world!

3. Have Fun:

We all are familiar with this one. Don’t forget to have fun in the summer. You earned it.

a. Travel/Vacation:

When I was younger I always looked forward to summer family vacations. Even though the card rides were long we had fun trips and created long-lasting memories.

b. Do Something that is for YOU:

Sometimes during the summer we forget to take time out for ourselves. Between work, traveling and vacationing we can get lost in the fun of summer. If this happens take a break and do something that is for YOU.

4. Get Creative:

I am a creative person. At least once a week I like to take time away from my schedule to get crafty and work on DIY projects. Find your creative outlet and do it.

a. Start a Blog:

This time last year I sat down at my laptop and started to write articles, blog posts, and brainstorm my ideas for Mademoiselle Scientist and started science writing. Even though I didn’t know what to expect I am glad I decided to start blogging.

b. Learn a New Skill:

There are so many things to learn: how to sew, design an app or how to code. Check out how this woman learned how to code by creating 180 websites in 180 days. Wow!

5. Learn Something New:

Everyday is an opportunity to learn something new.

a. A New Language:

The summer is a nice time to learn a new language, especially if you will be traveling.

b. A New Subject:

If you are looking for ways to learn at your own pace during the summer check out Coursera.org, Edx.org or Khan Academy. I have used Coursera.org and Edx.org and I love it! These sites are great tools because you can learn something new or brush up on a subject. They have many STEM courses available that start this summer.

6. Get ahead:

Even though the summer is about taking time off and having fun, it is important to prepare for the next season.

a. Check you School Schedule (Students):

Check out your class schedule and review your syllabus if it is available. This is a great time to buy your books online to save money.

b. Check your Goals & Upcoming Projects (Professionals & Scientists):

The summer is a good time to look at your goals and see what upcoming projects you have.

c. Start Applications (Undergraduates, Post-Graduates):

During the fall there are many fellowships, scholarships and applications deadlines. The summer is the perfect time to start some of your essays, get recommendations letters together and begin your applications. The earlier you get started, the earlier you can finish your applications.

7. Broaden your Network:

No matter where you are, whenever you are meeting people you are networking. Networking is about building relationships with others. The summer is a great time to broaden your network at a casual level. There will be many parties, weddings, cookouts, and vacations. You never know who you may meet. In the summer you can have the best of both worlds: have fun and meet new people.

What are looking forward to this summer? Share below.

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