Make Summer Matter: Fill the gaps in your Story the fun way this Summer!

Published: July 9, 2014

Our students are still talking about you! They loved your presentation!

Sara Muriello, Cross Cultural and Communication Specialist, University of Rochester, New York

Summertime is a great time to get outdoors, relax the mind, go explore new destinations, or even try a new activity.  For many people, this is a “break” from college or career – a time when they don’t have to think about anything but having fun.  But guess what?  You can have fun and still advance your trajectory in college, career, or beyond!

In my Rockstar Approach to Success, I always talk about the importance of self-assessments.  I’ve even created 11 Rockstar Attributes that companies are looking for in talented individuals and all of my books include the self-assessment tool which is critical in becoming attractive to various Influential Individuals who can help you achieve your goals and find wild success in life.

Think about it.  You know who you are: you’re a Rockstar.  But not everyone knows that already, especially the Influential Individuals and Recruiters with whom you are (or will be)  interacting.  You need to first and foremost let them know that if you are anything at all, you are self-aware.  This is an incredibly attractive quality in a candidate looking to advance their career.

If you try to “sell” yourself to a recruiter, they will see right through it.  That’s why it’s important to self-assess and know where you stand, then create a Personal Networking Strategy (PNS) that is based on your strengths and weaknesses across the attributes that Recruiters look for in a Rockstar Candidate.

What are these attributes?  There are 11 of them, and they largely span 3 categories:

  • Educational Benchmarks
  • Work History Characteristics
  • Skills Sets/Experience

I go into details on these 3 categories in all my books, including The Beginner’s Guide which is available for free on my website at

The key to making the most out of summer is to do a quick assessment against the 11 Rockstar Attributes and find areas where you have potential “weaknesses” or “gaps” in your story.  Align your adventures and leisure activities so that they align with the areas you need to improve.

Don’t have much work experience?  Volunteer at a community organization or get involved your town’s event planning for 4th of July, Labor Day, or other festivals.  The experience will be fun, you’ll meet lots of new people, and you’ll have a great story to share with Recruiters or Influential Individuals in the Fall regarding the new skill sets you picked up (while having fun!).

Looking to expand your skill sets?  Head to the library and read up on some new books.  Or do what my nephews (12 and 14 years old) decided to do: learn how to start a business on e-bay by selling their old toys.  They are younger than most of the people reading this blog, but you can bet that taking the initiative to start this business will not only clear up clutter and get them some some cash to spend on fun things, but it will also reflect really well on their college applications and career interviews!

Want to stand out in a crowd of applicants for a new job?  Then go on an adventure!  It could be a vacation to Europe or a weekend-long camping trip at a local park.  Either way, discussing your summer adventures with Recruiters or Influential Individuals will help you stand out from the crowd because it shows your initiative.  Further, its not always what you do, but what it represents.  If you go on a solo-backpacking adventure in the woods for 3 days, it can show a Recruiter that you are motivated, self-driven, reliable, a planner, a risk-taker, and have commitment to follow-through on projects.

While it might not be obvious, your summer fun can translate very easily to filling gaps in your story – you just need the self-assessment tool to put it all into the right context.  That’s the Rockstar Approach.  If yousimply take 30-60 minutes to establish a framework around your summer activities, you will be able to share an awesome story when interacting with Recruiters or Influential Individuals for your next step in college, career, or beyond!

Rock On!

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