Parents & Families
As a parent or family member, you have a significant influence on the career choices made by your student. When making decisions, most students will seek advice from family members first. Although students will ultimately have to make their own decisions, your encouragement, understanding, and thoughtful guidance during this career preparation process has proven to be very helpful as your student seeks to find the path to career success.
What are Your Student’s Current Career-Related Needs?
Encourage Your Student to Connect with Career Services
The University Career Center is one of several offices throughout campus that can help your student in their career preparation.
Quick Tips: Fostering Career Development in Your Student
- As a parent or family member, you can support your student in their career development. Below are recommendations to be an active support in your student’s career planning process:
- Let your student make their own choice for a major and/or career. While it is tempting to say, “Major in this, or do this,” your student needs to develop their own career directions based on their own values, interests, personalities, and skills. This is what leads to success!
- Connect your student with friends, family members, and neighbors to learn about possible careers and employers.
- Encourage an early start to career planning. While it doesn’t have to be in the first semester of the first year, we strongly encourage students to learn about us and the career preparation opportunities throughout campus as early as possible.
- Encourage your student to gain experience through internships; assisting professors with research; study abroad or other international experience; living learning communities; service¬learning; joining student organizations; participating in student organizations as members or leaders; and other extracurricular activities.
- Help your student develop skills wanted in the work world.
- Emphasize the importance of connecting with faculty through office visits or before and after class. Their faculty as well as teaching assistants may know of relevant internships and employers in your student’s chosen field. They can also write references for employment and graduate/professional school.
- Refrain from becoming overly involved in your student’s job or graduate/professional school search. While a few employers may welcome a direct connection to parents, most do not. When a parent calls an employer to find out why their student didn’t get the job, the employer may wonder about your student’s maturity and ability to manage job responsibilities. If anyone should call, it should be the student. You can help them plan the call, but don’t make it.