Baylor > Career Counseling > Career Counseling Process > Information for Parents
How to Support Your Student in Career Planning
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Whether to attend college and which one to choose are two of the most important decisions a student makes. Parents and students often spend years researching colleges and universities, making campus visits, and preparing applications. As professional counselors and higher education personnel, we understand that the entire family may be involved in this decision-making process. We want to help parents to be informed about ways to support their students as they transition into this new stage of life.
In Career Counseling, we not only take students’ academic progress seriously, but we believe they should clarify their personalities, interests, strengths, and values. These take time to emerge – it is a process. We would like to partner with your student as he or she adjusts to life in college and life away from home.
Your student is transitioning into an important period of development known as “emerging adulthood.” According to research, this period is characterized by exploring and forging identity – both as a person and as a professional – and learning to balance the shift in freedom, responsibilities and relationships. Below are some suggestions of ways in which you can support your student in career planning.
• Listen to your student discuss the different career and major choices she is considering.
• Discuss the advantages of taking a balanced course load the first year while adjusting to the transition of college life. Seventeen or eighteen semester hours may not be a realistic goal for most first-year students.
• Allow your student to take courses to explore interests that will help him narrow down a career focus. Foster a sense of confidence in Baylor’s academic advisors. These professionals have graduate degrees and are highly qualified to assist your student with a four-year graduation plan (www.baylor.edu/university_advisement).
• Talk with your student about developing strong study and time management skills. High school study skills may not be adequate for college level work (www.baylor.edu/support_programs).
• Discuss with your student the importance of scheduling an appointment with a career counselor and beginning the career counseling process (www.baylor.edu/careercounseling).
• Talk with your student about getting involved in one or two campus activities or organizations related to his interests. This type of involvement can serve as a way to explore career options and will also begin the process of building a résumé (www.baylor.edu/student_activities/organizations).
• Brainstorm with your student a list of friends or relatives that may work in a field of interest to her. Job shadowing and information interviews are an excellent way to obtain information about a career path.
• Encourage your student to find a career-related job or internship experience during the summer (www.baylor.edu/cpd).
• Affirm your student’s desire to choose a career path that fits his personality, interests, strengths, values, and calling.
• Foster a sense of confidence in your student by supporting her process of choosing a major.
• Reinforce the importance of using the career counseling services that are provided free of charge by Baylor University (www.baylor.edu/careercounseling).
• Allow your student the opportunity to build his résumé by finding a career-related job or internship experience during the summer (www.baylor.edu/cpd).
• Listen to ways your student is getting to know her professors. Letters of recommendation from faculty members are valuable resources for obtaining internship and job opportunities.
• Support your student’s desire to obtain leadership responsibilities in clubs or organizations. This is a way of developing marketable work skills.
• Refer your student to the Office of Career and Professional Development for résumé assistance (www.baylor.edu/cpd).
• Ask your student about his plans to obtain experience related to his career goals through an internship or job.
• Ask your student about her plans to attend one of the many Career Fair opportunities on campus (www.baylor.edu/cpd).
• Ask your student about her career goals.
• Encourage your student to create or update his résumé.
• Ask your student about upcoming career fairs or on-campus interview opportunities.
• Remind your student that she can get assistance with her job search from the Office of Career and Professional Development (www.baylor.edu/cpd).
• Ask your student about the possibility of attending graduate or professional school.
• Demonstrate care and patience as your student expresses concern or worry about his future.
• Do not call potential employers and intervene for your student.