How You Can Help Your Students
Listen: Choosing a major or career path can be overwhelming and students are anxious to have an opportunity to talk about their thoughts. Parents can do this successfully by keeping an open mind and seeing the situation from the student’s perspective. Although it may be difficult, avoid giving advice unless asked.
Encourage: Talk about the value of the Gateway Program with your student and encourage them to get involved in the first year. Keep up to date on the programs and workshops offered by the Office of Career Services throughout the year and mention to your student those that you think he or she might enjoy and benefit from. Let your student know that you see the value in participating in a variety of activities and courses while at Lafayette.
Inform: Talk to your student about your own career development path, even if he or she is considering a career quite different from your own. Connect your student with people you know who can provide career insight and information on internships and full-time jobs.
Partner: Help your student navigate the career exploration process by taking the journey with them, not trying to lead them. Ask open-ended questions to help your student clarify their ideas and goals. Provide positive feedback when your student discusses career-related activities with you. Above all, let your student know that you trust them to use all the resources available to them to make an informed decision.
Help Your First Year Student
Encourage your student in the following ways
- Investigate career possibilities by taking career assessments, available through Career Services.
- Pursue academic strengths and interests.
- Participate in some of the many campus activities opportunities offered at Lafayette.
- Remind your student to attend a first-year group meeting in the fall to develop an understanding of what the Gateway Program has to offer.
- Encourage attendance at Career Services sponsored workshops, programs, and networking events, while promoting exploration of all career interests and reinforcing that there are many options.
- Remind your student to meet with a Gateway Counselor in Career Services for an individual appointment.
Help Your Sophomore
Positively assist your student in researching their career interests by:
- Suggesting a visit to Career Services, our library, as well as utilizing the Career Services website to gather career information.
- Recommending a conversation with faculty in the fields of interest.
- Connecting your student with friends, family, and colleagues who can provide them with information on careers of interest.
- Remind your student to meet with a Gateway counselor to begin developing a career plan and to update his or her resume.
- Encourage continued attendance at workshops, programs, and networking events.
- Discuss with your student the importance and benefits of completing experiential learning opportunities (externships, internships, volunteering, research). Advise your student that these experiences will help them learn about potential careers, gain experience, build a network, and become more competitive in the job or graduate school search. Talk about the various opportunities as well as concerns, including costs associated with the internship.
- Encourage your sophomore student to utilize Career Services resources to begin researching industries or employers that might be of interest and/or graduate programs for continued education.
- Remind your student to upload an up‐to‐date resume to CareerSpot, update their Career Interests regularly, and utilize this resource to RSVP to Career Services programs and search for internships.
Help Your Junior
- Remind your student to meet with a Gateway counselor and continue attending workshops, programs, and networking events.
- Have your student work with a Gateway counselor to obtain an AlumNet list from the online Lafayette Alumni Database; advise them of the integral need for networking and building relationships early.
- Encourage your student to strengthen their interviewing skills through the Recruiters‐in‐Residence mock interviewing program, meeting with their Gateway counselor, attending workshops and programs on this topic, and utilizing our online interviewing resources.
- Encourage your student to start narrowing down possible career or graduate program choices, and begin making decisions for the future.
- If your student has decided to attend graduate school, encourage proactive preparatory techniques like speaking with faculty in their area of interest, researching programs, and taking practice entrance exams.
- Reiterate to your student the importance and value of expanding related experiences. Suggest finding opportunities for growth and experience through experiential learning, volunteer opportunities, and student activities during the academic school year, interim, and summer.
Help Your Senior
- This is the final year; remind your student to meet with a Gateway counselor and prepare an updated resume, as well as encourage any final opportunities to network.
- Have your student continue to practice interviewing skills with Career Services, you, family, friends, and anyone else who may be beneficial and unbiased.
- Propose to your graduating student to create a calendar with deadlines of job, graduate school, and/or fellowship applications (and any other important information that may be of assistance in making life easier and less hectic).
- Tell your student that you are proud of them in whatever they choose to do and continue to help them in reaching their goal, whatever it may be.
- Remind your student to update their Gateway counselor regarding post‐graduation plans.
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