I know it may seem premature but if you have a child enrolling in or returning to a college or university this fall please encourage them to begin thinking about their careers while they are still in school. Many people mistakenly believe the time to seek full time employment is when the child graduates however for many students that may be too late. Employers typically want students with structured internship experience. These experiences are often acquired while the student is studying. It is imperative to your child’s career development that you engage them early in their college career about occupations they would like to pursue and skills knowlege and abilities required.
Ask your student the following questions to prompt a converstion or get them to begining thinking about their potential careers:
1. In what industry do you have an interest? ( An industry is a group of businesses that provide a particular product or service. For example retail, banking, health care and entertainment).
2. When will you visit your school’s career services office?
3. Have you taken any career assessments to give you some idea of what occupations that may be ideal for you?
4. On what dates will your school host career fairs?
5. How many company information sessions will you attend on campus?
6. Which skills do you see yourself using at work on a daily basis (Skills are developed aptitudes or abilities)?
7. Have you looked into the job market’s demand for the careers in which you have an interest? Are you comfortable with the salaries for those occupations?
Will that salary provide you with the lifestyle you wish to live? Will that salary cover your student loans?
8. Will you take the steps that are necessary to find an internship before you graduate?
9. Are there any activitites on campus that will assist you in developing the skills employers find valuable?
10. Have you had a practice interview?
11. Are you working on your resume?
These questions will never fully replace the dynamic conversation you should have with your student, but I do hope that they will give you a few suggestions on how to best to discuss this issue with your child. The earlier we have these conversation the sooner the student will begin to make connections between their studies and their first job after college.