When your student is prepared to look beyond graduation, it can be a scary and exciting time. These changes may be difficult for both students and parents, but clear communication and realistic expectations can go a long way in ensuring a smooth and positive transition. As a parent, there are many things you can do to assist in this incredible transformation. Below are questions to ask, services and opportunities your student will have access to, and a list of on-campus resources. If you would like to familiarize yourself with additional services available, please visit our career development resources.
Questions to ask your student Which areas of your major interest you the most?
What type of work environment do you see yourself thriving in?
Have you considered a graduate or professional program?
What kinds of leadership opportunities are available in your current schedule?
Tip: “Leadership” comes in many forms. Encourage your student to look into: Team captain, study group leader, tutor or peer mentor, shift leader at work, Resident Assistant, president/vice president of his or her club, etc. Which parts of post-graduate life make you nervous? Which parts are you excited for?
Have you spoken to faculty in your major about career opportunities?
Are there groups on campus that interest you?
Tip: Encourage your student to join a club or activity in their interest area, even if it is not directly related to his or her major. Have you looked into part-time jobs, volunteer opportunities or internships in your field?
Is your résumé up to date? Have you had someone review it?
What is your career-search plan?
Tip: Work with your student to create clear, achievable goals. For instance: Meet one new person each month, attend at least two job fairs, register for a mock interview, etc. Are you comfortable networking?
Have you made contacts in your field of interest?
How can I help with your job search?
Have you looked into career fairs?
What are your expectations for post-graduate life?
Are you enjoying yourself?
Questions to ask yourself Do I encourage my student to explore new ideas, experiences and occupations?
Tip: Many jobs aren’t ‘visible’ to those outside the industry. Encourage your student to think creatively about his or her skill set and career goals. Is my student emotionally and mentally prepared for living on his/her own?
Do I speak candidly and honestly about the benefits and drawbacks of my own professional experience?
Would I recommend my student to friends, acquaintances, and colleagues in his or her chosen field?
Tip: If this answer is ‘no,’ why not? If you feel your student is lacking a specific quality or skill, what can be done to turn that answer to a ‘yes’? Will I be willing to allow my student to use my personal and professional contacts to find employment after graduation?
What are my expectations of my student after graduation?
Part-time and full-time positions, career fairs, job search, professionalism, career development, and internship opportunities:
Malik Stewart, Talent Advisor
Mock interviews, cover letters, résumés
Diana Goldammer, Director of Student Life