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One thing every parent might want to remember:

You and your student have already paid for the services of the Career Center! Please tell your son or daughter about our office.
The Career Services Department is open from 8am -5pm Monday through Friday. Individualized counseling is available during those same hours.
Encourage your student to make an appointment for assistance with choosing a major or a career direction, graduate school planning, or internship information.
Who am I? What am I interested in? What am I good at? What is important to me?
The answers to these questions are pieces to the puzzle of: "What do I want to do with my life?
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How We Can Help:

  • Individual counseling
  • Career assessments ( MBTI, SDS, and the DISCOVER system)
  • "What Can I Do with This Major" pamphlets

How Parents Can Help:

  • Listen and mirror.
    Listen for interests, look for skills, and acknowledge values and personality.
  • Take a walk down memory lane.
    You know your son or daughter better than any university counselor or advisor ever will. Initiate a discussion of what your son or daughter has accomplished, learned, explored and even abandoned. Ask: what did you learn about yourself from that experience?
  • Open Wide! Putting Words in your Mouth.
    Ask your son or daughter what career they think that you want them to pursue?
    Be honest! Keep your cool! Explore what perceptions led to that conclusion.

CAREER EXPLORATION

Most students don’t know enough about the World of Work to make an informed decision about their career options.

How We Can Help:

  • Website with links to dozens of career-related websites
  • Informational Interview coaching

How Parents Can Help:

  • Develop career curiosity. When you watch a movie or come across someone in a certain career role, ask: "What do you think it’s like to be in that line of work?"
  • Embrace the information age
    Make information available, but don’t push it. Books, articles, websites abound with information.
  • Model good networking skills
    If you talk to your friends who talk to their friends, you might be able find someone who works in the career field your student is interested. Coach your son or daughter on how to learn from that person.

REALITY-TESTING

How Parents can help:

  • Show how to conduct an information interview
    Parents can conduct an information interview and let their son or daughter observe. Demonstrate how to go straight to the source of up-to-date career information.
  • Be internship savy!
    Many parents need an update about the value of internship experiences. Internships can often times make or break a college student’s chances to get a satisfying start in the work world after graduation. An internship can also help your son or daughter test-drive his or her career ideas.
  • Go career shopping!
    Winter or spring breaks can sometimes be optimal times to have a job shadowing experience or an externship. Job shadowing is just what it sounds like: following someone around for a day to see what his or her profession is like. An externship is a super-short internship, lasting maybe a week.

IMPLEMENTATION

Learn how to land an internship or a full-time job. Consider whether or not to pursue graduate studies. Develop the skills of self-promotion!

How we can help:

  • Resume and cover-letter critiques for internships & part-time jobs
  • Mock interviews for internships, part-time and full-time jobs
  • Graduate school planning and preparation

How Parents can help:

  • Blast from your past!
    Show your student a copy of your resume, if you have one. Too many college students can’t articulate what their parents do for a living. Make sure the style of your resume is up to the current standards first!
  • Remove the mystery!
    Talk about your experiences with job hunting. Discuss the experiences of your friends or relatives. Get a recent job search book and talk about how the process has changed in the last few years.
  • Graduate School? Ask Why first! then Where or When...
    There are many reasons to go to graduate school: For specialized knowledge, for prestige, for networking, and sometimes for higher income. Encourage your student to be a good consumer by choosing a graduate program carefully. Let your son or daughter know that graduate school is not a place to hide from the world of work!