Career Services Strategies for Students
As a parent, you may be concerned about when your son or daughter should start building their job search skill set and taking the steps toward a successful career after graduation. These suggestions may help you be proactive in guiding your student in the right direction.
Before making career decisions, Director of Career Services Troy Farley stresses the importance of self-assessment and research. "Students should spend their first year of college exploring their job and career options," said Farley.
Farley suggests that students should complete career assessments to help identify their skills, abilities, and interests. The Counseling and Career Development Center provides computerized career guidance programs, individual career counseling sessions and workshops to help your student find a career path.
Once they find a particular area of interest, they can utilize Career Services to help with everything from building their first résumé to finding an internship or job. Free to all students and alumni, these resources are available on the Allendale and downtown Pew Campuses, and at the Holland, Traverse City, and Muskegon Campuses by appointment.
Career Fairs are a great way for students to practice their “meet & greet” skills while exploring opportunties in fields like business, engineering, healthcare, and education. The Career Fairs website gives locations, dates and times, as well as tips concerning résumés and attire.
To determine if a given career interest is right for your son or daughter, encourage them to talk to professionals in their fields of interest. Grand Valley's Alumni Association on LinkedIn is a great resource for networking with professionals and finding informational interviews or job shadowing opportunities.
Career Services also provides LakerJobs, an online system that lists job and internship opportunties. Before applying, your student can utilize Career Services' job search assistance by meeting one-on-one with a career advisor. They can help students develop professional résumés, cover letters, and networking strategies.
Whether or not your son or daughter has made a decision about a future career path, encourage them to make an appointment with a career advisor at Career Services. They can help explore endless opportunities and successfully prepare them for the future.
Career services are supported by gifts to the Grand Valley Fund.
Parent to Parent: Academic Performance
Did you know there are certain academic milestones your son or daughter should be hitting each year in order to stay on track with the coursework for their major and to prepare for the workplace after graduation?
Grand Valley’s four year blueprint for student success is a great resource that outlines key moments in a student’s academic, social and professional development.
But how do you know your son or daughter is hitting the mark? Just ask. Pam Malinoski, mother of two current students, suggests asking open-ended questions about their classes that make them think before they give you an answer. "I inquire about their classes and performance, while still talking to them like adults," said Malinoski.
Malinoski's experiences with her two college students were very different. Her daughter updated Malinoski and her husband on a regular basis about her school performance. Her son was different and Malinoski had to ask more questions in order to make sure he was doing well in his classes.
"Throughout the year I would ask my son about his classes, professors, or tests. I would ask generally, 'How are things going?' and then ask more in-depth questions based on his response," said Malinoksi. "When he had concerns about a specific class or career issue I would ask things like 'Do you know your professor's office hours? Why not make an appointment with your professor and then call me after to share how it went."
Malinoski's approach to asking her son and daughter these types of questions allowed her to give advice while encouraging them to act on their own behalf and be held accountable for their academic success.
Without asking probing questions, you may not know how they are actually doing. While you can't be with them in the classroom, you can empower your son or daughter to stay on track toward academic success.
New on the Family Association Flickr Page
Check out new photos from our latest Parent Reception on the Family Association Flickr page. This event gave Laker parents the opportunity to unwind and connect with fellow parents at the Alumni House.