Tag: interview

How to Spend Your Winter Break Productively

Winter break is a great time to relax and recharge after a busy fall term. But it can also be a valuable opportunity to prepare for your future career goals. If you are planning to have an internship next summer, here are some tips on how to spend your winter break productively.

Tip 1: Apply for internships early

Many summer internships have deadlines in January or February, so don’t wait until the last minute to apply. Start researching potential internships that match your interests, skills, and goals. You can use online platforms like Handshake, Glassdoor, Indeed, or LinkedIn to find internships in various fields and locations. You can also ask the Career Center for recommendations or referrals.

Tip 2: Update your resume and cover letter

Your resume and cover letter are the first impressions you make on potential employers, so make sure they are clear, relevant, and professional. Highlight your academic achievements, work experiences, skills, and extracurricular activities that demonstrate your fit for the internship. Use action verbs, quantify your results, and tailor your documents to each internship you apply for. You can also use online tools like VMock to help you create and proofread your resume and cover letter.

Tip 3: Learn new skills or improve existing ones

Winter break is a perfect time to learn new skills or improve existing ones that can boost your resume and prepare you for your internship. You can take online courses on platforms like Coursera, Udemy, or edX that offer a variety of topics and levels. You can also read books, watch videos, listen to podcasts, or join online communities that relate to your field of interest. Learning new skills or improving existing ones can help you stand out from other applicants and show your initiative and curiosity.

Tip 4: Network with professionals and peers

Networking is a powerful way to expand your connections, learn from others, and discover new opportunities. You can network with professionals and peers in your field by attending online events, webinars, or workshops that interest you. You can also reach out to Lawrence alumni, mentors, or contacts from previous internships or jobs and ask them for advice or feedback. Use social media platforms like LinkedIn follow influencers, join groups, or participate in discussions that relate to your field.

Tip 5: Prepare for interviews

If you get invited for an interview, congratulations! That means you have passed the first screening and have a chance to impress the employer with your personality and potential. To prepare for the interview, research the company and the role, practice common interview questions and scenarios, dress appropriately, and be punctual. You can use online platforms like Big Interview to help you practice and improve your interview skills.


Winter break is not only a time to rest and have fun, but also a time to plan ahead and get ready for your summer internship. By following these tips, you can spend your winter break productively and increase your chances of landing your dream internship. Good luck!

NACE Career Excellence Spotlight – Critical Thinking

Kyle Gierman is a Senior student studying Economics and Data Science. This summer, he had the opportunity to work as an intern at JP Morgan, an American financial services firm.

This article’s NACE competency focus is Critical Thinking. We had the opportunity to speak to Kyle about how he was able to use his Critical Thinking skills to succeed in his internship. Here is what we asked him.

Describe a project or task where you had to gather and analyze data to make an important decision. What methods did you use, and what was the outcome? 

At JPMorgan Chase & Co, I was tasked with the critical project of streamlining dataflows to enhance the efficiency and accuracy of our macroeconomic calculators for the Investment Banking team. This project was crucial for making informed financial decisions and ensuring that our data was not only accurate but also up to date.

To tackle this challenge, I leveraged Alteryx, a powerful data integration and analytics tool. Alteryx allowed me to automate and optimize various data processes, significantly reducing processing time which was a problem in the past. I designed workflows within Alteryx to gather data from multiple sources, clean and transform it, and then integrate it to send to the Investment Banking team. By automating these processes, we were able to eliminate manual data entry errors and reduce the risk of human error, thereby improving data accuracy and reliability.

One of the key outcomes of leveraging Alteryx was the huge reduction in processing time. Previously, it took a considerable amount of time to manually collect, clean, and update the data required for our macroeconomic calculators. With Alteryx, we were able to cut down processing time significantly, allowing us to provide more timely updates to our calculators. This was particularly important in the fast-paced financial industry, where up-to-the-minute data can make a substantial difference in decision-making.

To ensure the quality and accuracy of the data, I also used Excel as a complementary tool. I created pivot tables and cross-referenced the data processed through Alteryx with the original source files. This double-checking process helped identify any discrepancies, allowing for immediate correction.

In the end, the project was a success. By streamlining dataflows with Alteryx and implementing data validation using Excel, we not only reduced processing time but also improved data accuracy and timeliness.

Kyle Gierman ’24

Critical thinking was a fundamental aspect of every stage of the project, from recognizing the problem to designing solutions, evaluating tools, and ensuring ongoing data quality. Critical thinking is an essential skill for problem-solving and decision-making in complex projects like this one.

And you? Are you showcasing your critical thinking skills on your resume? How would you answer that same question?

If you would like to know more or have questions on how you could showcase your skills on your resume or in an interview, feel free to email me ( or schedule an appointment here.

Oliver De Croock ’24, Student-Athlete at Lawrence University majoring in Economics and Data Science. Oliver works as a Career Peer Educator at the Career Center and is the President of the Lawrence University Business Networking ClubConnect with Oliver on LinkedIn.

Mastering HireVue Interviews: Tips and Tricks for Success

HireVue is a digital interviewing tool that enables companies to optimize their recruitment process and more efficiently evaluate candidates. This AI-powered service assesses candidates remotely using video, audio, and AI technologies. In this article, I will share my experience and give you a few tips and tricks on how you can prepare to ace your next HireVue interview.

Over the past year, I’ve had the opportunity to participate in two different HireVue interviews from two competitors in the same field, EY, and Deloitte. On the one hand, EY asked me three long and elaborate questions (see example below) and only gave me 30 seconds to prepare, making it difficult to structure my responses properly. Deloitte, on the other hand, had a total of 8 questions, but they were shorter, and I had a full two minutes to prepare, making it simpler to organize my thoughts and successfully answer the questions.

Example of long-form question asked (EY):

  • New technologies and new ways of doing business are emerging all the time. In such a disrupted environment, you must embrace innovation or risk being left behind. We believe that having an innovative mindset is critical in this time of near-constant change. That’s why at EY, we recruit people today based on their mindset – not just their skill set. With a focus on innovation in mind … Provide a recent example of how you leveraged your expertise on a specific technology or topic to drive innovation and impact the results of a project, organization or role. What steps did you take? What challenges did you face? What was the end result?

Examples of short-form questions asked (Deloitte):

  • Tell me about yourself and why you are interested in this position.
  • Provide an example of a challenging situation you faced and how you overcame it.
  • Describe a project you worked on and the results you achieved.
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Here are a few tips and tricks I wish I knew before going into my first few HireVue interviews:

  • Practice all the most common interview questions ahead of time so you know how to respond before you begin.
  • Make the most of your preparation time! If you are unsure what to say after the initial preparation period, use the entire length of your first take to gather your thoughts and figure out how you want to answer so you can be much more confident in your second take (remember, that will be the one and only take you will have). It’s better to have one really good take rather than two average ones.
  • During the preparation period, develop a bullet point list of the points you intend to cover; don’t stare at it, but use it in case you run out of ideas.
  • Be confident and, if possible, look at the camera – this will make it appear as if you are speaking straight into the viewer’s eyes – it’s a simple way to differentiate yourself from others, as eye contact (even virtually) goes a long way.

HireVue is a useful tool for companies looking to optimize their recruitment process, but it can also be a difficult experience for candidates. If you are prepared, you’ve been practicing interview questions, and you know what to expect, you will be able to navigate the HireVue process with confidence and give yourself the best chance of standing out against other applicants.

If you want to learn more about my experience with HireVue, practice behavioral interviews, or have any questions, feel free to email me ( or schedule an appointment.

Oliver De Croock ’24, Student-Athlete at Lawrence University majoring in Economics and Data Science. Oliver works as a Career Peer Educator at the Career Center and is the President of the Lawrence University Business Networking ClubConnect with Oliver on LinkedIn.

Career Planning Guide Links

Career Planning Guide (links will take you to the CLC website)
Chapter 1 – Resumes
Chapter 2 – Cover Letters
Chapter 3 – Portfolios and Personal Websites
Chapter 4 – Managing Your Image
Chapter 5 – Etiquette
Chapter 6 – Networking/Making Connections
Chapter 7 – Job and Internship Search
Chapter 8 – Other Letters
Chapter 9 – Interviews
Chapter 10 – Components of a Job Offer
Chapter 11 – Graduate School