Seven Tips to Help Your Student Graduate with a Meaningful Job
1.Encourage early involvement outside the classroom.Whether your student has established a career path or has not yet developed a plan, he/she will benefit from participating in a campus club, part-time job or other activity outside the classroom.For students with no career plans, the more actively engaged they are on campus and in the surrounding community, the more opportunities they have to learn about various careers.For those with a clear career plan, they will need to build their resumes with campus and community involvement, as this is what employers expect to see in good candidates.
2.Encourage research of each serious career idea.The Career Development Services website has links to useful online tools for learning about careers -- their tasks, average salaries, outlook, education required and other information for good decisions.The next step for your student is to find individuals who do the type of work which interests him and conduct “informational interviews.”He should ask questions about daily tasks, work load, satisfaction, challenges, advice for next steps, and referrals to others.
3.Provide a contact (or two), if you know someone working in a profession which interests your student.Have him make the call or compose the email, but provide him with the person’s name and contact information.You can lay the groundwork with your friend or colleague by letting him know your student will be seeking career information.
4.Suggest taking on an internship (or two).Once your student has narrowed down a career choice, he is ready to search for an internship.In general, the earlier he completes an internship, the greater opportunity he has to solidify or change his plans.If he is changing plans, there will be time to pursue a different internship.If he is committing to a career direction, he will have time to pursue another internship and build his background in the field, making him a more competitive candidate after graduation.
5.Ask about career events on campus.Rather than insisting she attend, you can ask your student if she heard about an upcoming employer information session or the Etiquette Dinner.Ask what they do at these events to prompt her curiosity.She may well decide to attend after looking into who will be coming to campus.
6.Recommend strategic use of service learning hours. FGCU requires students to complete community service.If your student is an Environmental Studies major, it would make more sense to volunteer on a “green” project or with an environmental organization rather than choosing to work with an arts organization because a friend is doing so.
7.Suggest a visit to Career Development Services (CDS) and use of our online resources. The earlier a student pays a visit to Career Development, the more likely it is she will be well prepared to achieve her career goals.CDS can help your student develop a 4-year plan for career exploration, planning, and preparation.By starting early, a student can pace herself, gain relevant experience, learn skills necessary for an effective job search (including resume writing, interviewing and networking), and be ready to secure a rewarding position by the time she leaves FGCU.With our Virtual Resource Center, a student can access various career materials at any time of day or night: http://studentservices.fgcu.edu/Careers/handouts.asp