Pointers for Your Student's Successful Career Development
Encourage your student to visit the Career Center during the first semester. The Career Center has many resources, e.g., interest inventories, resume and cover letter writing, access to employers and jobs, etc. Importantly: your student will make a connection with our staff at the Career Center—people they can come to for help, advice or information throughout college.
Not just a one-time thing. The Career Center should be used throughout your student's college career--not just during one's senior year. Finding a career doesn't happen in a week or two—they need a plan! Students who wait until senior year miss out on many career preparation opportunities. Start early to gain an advantage by using our resources from the start. Our ExCEL 4-Phase Career Plan is another great guide to help move your career in the right direction.
Challenge your student to become 'career literate.' There's more to a career than just a job. Knowing which options are available within different industries and what employers expect, the Career Center helps your student's understanding about career paths, types of work, compensation, and advanced education requirements.
Take advantage of career-focused work experiences. Work is a huge part of who we are. Semester breaks and summer are great times to job shadow, serve a mini-internship, or conduct informational interviews with professionals. Help your student find work-place learning options to expose them to professional experiences. Introduce your student to your boss, co-workers or other people who might be able to offer good advice, or simply serve as career mentors. Let them shadow you at work and see the professional you in a career environment. Help your student learn that a career will shape them just as they will shape their careers.
Build career documentation early in the college years. Career documents such as a resume, a cover letter draft, or a writing sample will be easier to develop if your son or daughter uses our services to learn these life-long skills.
Support career exploration. It's ok if your student decides to change majors, although we wouldn't encourage this after the junior year. Simply majoring in something "because I'll get a job" oten results in dissatisfaction at best, or poor academics at worst. Let them find what they love early on. Success will follow by taking the right steps.
Allow your student to make the career decisions. Everyone wants what's best for your child. Remember, though, they must find their own path. Most people change careers 4-6 times in their lifetime, so making informed decisions about a career is a skill everyone needs to develop.
Get involved on campus. A large part of the college experience occurs beyond the classroom. Being involved with clubs, organizations, and events improves communication, teamwork, project management, and overall leadership skills - skills in high demand!