Parents Get Your Student Ready

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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.

Opportunities for Historically Underrepresented Groups

OpportunityThere are quite a few companies who are now offering opportunities for Historically Underrepresented Groups (H.U.G.S).   HUGS are typically groups of people who have not had significant representations within a particular industry.  For instance in some areas such as beauty men or males are considered a   Historically Under Represented Group.   Within the field of banking HUGS are many times defined as  Latino, Native and African Americans  as these are groups that do not typically have  as strong presence within this space.   To assist in increasing the number of qualified candidates many companies often host programs in order to introduce students to opportunities within this space. Usually they are all expenses  paid trips to the locations of the host organizations where students are exposed to vary career functions within the respective organizations. These programs often target rising sophomores and rising juniors enrolled  in college.  If you are currently a freshman or a sophomore now is great time to connect with your school career services office to see what companies have these programs available.

Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs are accepting applications for these programs.

Take a look at their websites if you are interested.

Advocate for Yourself

courtesy gmic.global.com

courtesy gmic.global.com

Sometimes as students and job seekers we think employers are doing us a favor when they ask us to come in for an interview or extend to us job offer. We are often so thankful and grateful that we immediately say yes without asking really important questions.  When you are invited for an interview it is perfectly acceptable to  ask for a time that is suitable to your schedule.  If you know that attending the interview may result in undue hardship or a major inconvenience you can ask your recruiter for an alternate date and time.  Depending on your unique circumstances you may  or may not choose  disclose the reason for rescheduling , but it is perfectly acceptable state , “Unfortunately due to a previous commitment I will be unable to attend the interview at that time. Do you have any other dates and times available for us to have a conversation about this opportunity?”.

Another area where students often go with the flow is AFTER the offer has been extended.  This is not the time to take whatever is presented to you. When you receive the offer  request a minimum of 24 hours before you accept.  Use that time to consider the pros and cons of the opportunity  and think about  more than salary.  Review the benefits, location, training and overall  organization culture.   If you are unsure ask questions about any of these areas to ensure that you are making an informed decision. How an organization treats you prior to the acceptance of the offer is a good indication of how they will treat you once you agree to join the company.

This process should be mutually beneficial and  not an area where only you or the employer gets what they want.  Asking questions and negotiating schedules or  additional time to make a decision is indicative of someone who is advocating on their own behalf.  This is perfectly acceptable. It also helps in increasing your sense of confidence by providing a tool on how to navigate the often stressful process of finding an  internship, co-op  or full time job.

The Business Dress Fund

Save for your business dress.

Save for your business dress.

Attire is often dictated by the industry, culture of the organization and the nature of the work that you perform.  It is important no matter what career you pursue that you create a business wardrobe. Even in very casual environments there may come a time when you will need to wear a business suit or formal business attire.  Thinking about your business wardrobe ahead of time will prevent you from being caught off  guard.

Sometimes as a student disposable income is not easy to acquire, yet dressing for the part that you want  will ultimately increase your ability to generate additional income. Whatever it is you are earning at the moment remember to put aside a small portion each time you get paid to create a business dress fund.  Look for sales, thrift stores and lay-away options in stores to maximize  your dollars.  Seek out classic and conservative pieces that will last for more than a season.  An investment in your wardrobe is an investment in your professional development, the sooner you begin the sooner you will reap the rewards.