A Parent's Roadmap

How to assist your student transition from "Campus to Career"

Your child is now a college student and you want the best for him/her. You know from experience that career planning does not just happen in the final year of college. You know that if planning is done well, it could really make a difference in your child's success as he/she begins the job search process their senior year.

Parents do have an important role! Parents can provide career planning support; understanding when and where to lend a helping hand or a listening ear can assist your student in successfully transitioning from "Campus to Career."

First Year - The Year of Discovery
  • Encourage your student to make grades and learning a top priority
  • Talk to your student about his/her skills and talents
  • Encourage involvement in campus activities and clubs
  • Remind your student of the support services available on campus
  • Be aware that a part-time job may be beneficial; employers love work experience
  • Talk to your student about the importance of vocation (one's life work)
  • Be open to ideas your student has regarding majors and career fields

Summer

  • Encourage him/her to find a part-time or summer position related to career interests
  • Promote volunteer service in an area of interest
  • Ask about his/her goals and plans

 

Second Year - The Year of Exploration
  • Continue to talk to your student about major and career options
  • Encourage him/her to utilize the James C. Denneny, Jr. Career Development Center and varied workshop opportunities
  • Promote the "Top Ten Resources" provided on the Career Development website
  • Introduce your student to people in professions he/she is considering
  • Assist your student in developing a list of people in a field of interest to contact for informational interviews
  • Encourage your student to participate in activities and experiences related his/her interests and skills
  • Encourage participation in "Major2Career" field trips
  • Stress the importance of maintaining a solid GPA

Summer

  • Encourage your student to look for an internship or summer job in a field of interest
  • Continue to encourage community involvement and volunteering
  • Speak with your student about long-term goals and plans

 

Third Year - The Year of Evaluation
  • Encourage your student to attend the CMU Career EXPO and other professional events provided by the James C. Denneny, Jr. Career Development Center
  • Assist your student in purchasing an interview suit
  • Encourage your student to continue involvement and leadership roles in activities/clubs related to his/her interests
  • Encourage your student to utilize Eagle JobNet, CMU's online job searching system; and post a resume in the resume book within the system
  • Assist your student in developing realistic expectations about his/her chosen career by asking questions such as:
    • What is the average starting salary?
    • What skills are preferred at the entry level?
    • Where are jobs located?
    • What are long-term opportunities for professional growth?
    • Is graduate/professional school a requirement?
  • Encourage ongoing review and revision of her/his resume, a resource provided by the James C. Denneny, Jr. Career Development Center

Summer

  • Promote experience, experience, experience!
  • Encourage an internship in his/her field, even if it is unpaid and the student needs to also work part-time to assist with finances
  • Continue to encourage community involvement and volunteering
  • Speak with your student about short and long-term goals and career plans

 

Fourth Year - The Year of Implementation
  • Encourage participation in all career planning workshops and events that CMU sponsors
  • Give your student ideas of people who are in his/her "network" system, since many jobs are found this way
  • Ask your student how you can help, but do not give too much assistance! While he/she can use resources you may have, writing a resume and cover letter, doing company research, and attending events must be done by the student
  • Assist your student in purchasing professional attire
  • Encourage your student to have his/her job application materials reviewed and a job search plan developed at the James C. Denneny, Jr. Career Development Center
  • Encourage your student to participate in a mock interview
  • Promote networking and involvement in professional associations
  • When she/he is offered a job, sit down and go through the various compensation and benefits information
  • Check in now and then to listen to your student - this can be a stressful time!
  • Be patient! The career search process takes time - six months or more!
  • If it takes a while, encourage your new graduate to volunteer, take on an internship in his/her field and to continue to network!
 
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