University of Minnesota

Second Year Experience

Office of Undergraduate Education


General Roadmap

‘tis the season of internship fairs!

It’s that time of year again! Many of the colleges are hosting job and internship fairs this month. This is in addition to the U of M Job and Internship Fair, which showcases hundreds of employers from around the Minneapolis area. Are you ready?

It’s important not to skip these events just because you are a second year student. Employers are looking for college students of all levels and majors. They want to give you the chance to learn skills that you don’t learn in the classroom, so take advantage of this opportunity! Job and internship fairs are a good way to get an experience lined up for the summer and build connections with potential employers.

How well do you know your faculty members?

Sometimes students don’t realize what a valuable resource their professors are. Many instructors come to the U of M after gaining years of experience in their field and they are here to share their knowledge with you. Your professors can also provide you with a reference for future jobs, internships, and graduate programs. However, don’t plan on asking an instructor for a letter of recommendation unless you have spent time getting to know them. So, how exactly do you do that?

  • Take advantage of your professors’ office hours. These hours are mandatory for professors and students often don’t take advantage this opportunity for one-on-one time.
  • Ask questions, show you’re curious and show you’re willing to learn. Professors are here because of their love of teaching and passion for their subject matter. They will welcome and appreciate your questions.
  • Want to get to know your professor in a more casual setting? Grab a few classmates and take your professor to lunch – for free!

It’s all about the money

ACollege is the time to start learning how to manage your money. Think about the difference between what items you actually need versus items you just want. For example, you need groceries, but want to go out to eat. While either option will feed you, you will spend five times as much on a delivery pizza versus a frozen pizza. Ordering pizza twice a week can cost you nearly $500 a semester!

That doesn’t mean you can’t spend money on anything fun. It’s okay to eat out occasionally, but the more you save on things like eating out, you will be able to afford something you really want – like a trip for spring break!

An Alternative Spring Break Experience

If you are looking for something different to do over spring break, why not consider an extended volunteer experience? Commonly known as an “alternative spring break,” many organizations lead volunteer and service trips over spring break specifically for college students. Consider traveling with with the University of Minnesota Habitat for Humanity chapter or Students Today Leaders Forever.

Career Roadmap


  • Considering graduate or professional school? Explore options and begin planning to meet any academic or experiential requirements, and foster relationships with faculty who will be your recommenders.


  • If you have an internship offer for an unpaid opportunity, check with Student Services in your college about internship funding.


Want to read more?
Career Planning in Your Second Year





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  • Last modified on February 6, 2018