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Parent's Guide to Career Development

Parents can be a valuable resource and motivator for students who are determining their career direction.  You can be open to their ideas and encourage them to find information through research and networking.  It is important to be nonjudgmental as well.  The following are some ways to assist your student:

Encourage your student to visit the NDSU Career Center

Second semester of their freshman year or during their sophomore year are good times for students to make a first appointment to meet with a Career Specialist in the Career Center.  The sooner students become familiar with the staff, resources and programs, the better prepared they will be to make well-informed career decisions.

Be curious about your student’s progress

Ask questions.  “Do you have ideas about what you want to do when you graduate?”  Or, “Have you selected a major?” If your student is having difficulty deciding on a major and has not formulated ideas for jobs after graduation, encourage him or her to make an appointment with his/her faculty advisor or academic advisor.  Also, meeting with a Career Counselor in the Counseling Center is a good recommendation.  The Career Counselors are skilled at helping students identify their talents, strengths and values which can shed light on which major to choose. 

Allow your student to make the decision

It’s alright to make suggestions about majors and career fields, but it’s important to let your student make the decision.  Even if you don’t agree with the decision, be sympathetic, supportive and informative.

Emphasize the importance of internships

The Career Center will not “place” your student in a job at graduation.  NDSU grants degrees, but not job guarantees, so having relevant experience in this competitive job market is critical.

Internships allow students to sample career options.  The Career Center has an extensive Cooperative Education and Internship Program.  Employers seek work-related skills like communication and problem solving which can be developed through internships.  They look for experience on a student’s resume and often hire from within their own internship programs.  For more information, check out the Career Center’s Cooperative Education and Internship Program.

Encourage extracurricular involvement

Becoming involved and active outside the classroom is part of experiencing college life.  It also develops skills in interpersonal competence and leadership that are important to employers.

Adopted from JobWeb.com - Career development and job-search advice for new college graduates.

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North Dakota State University
Phone: +1 (701) 231-7111 / Fax: (701) 231-8756
Campus address: Ceres Hall 306
Physical/delivery address: 1301 Administration Ave., Fargo, ND 58102
Mailing address: NDSU Dept. 5280 / PO Box 6050 / Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Page manager: Career Center

Last Updated: Friday, July 29, 2011 9:20:38 AM