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How to Support Your Student

When is the optimal time for students to begin using the Career Center?

While needs vary from student to student, our counselors would like to get to know your son or daughter individually as early as possible—ideally, during their first year. Becoming acquainted with our resources and services early on benefits the students immensely. They are better prepared to take advantage of Career Exploration visits and find internships, jobs, or post-graduate options that fit with their interests, skills, and values.

How can parents help students plan the next step?

  • Listen
  • Ask helpful, insightful, and open-minded questions-- not ones requiring only a "yes" or a "no" answer or leading the conversation where you would like it to go.
  • Be constructive and affirming of your son or daughter.
  • Don't judge or jump to conclusions.
  • Be ready for unexpected responses and ask for more details.
  • Share your experiences when appropriate.
  • Encourage your son or daughter to utilize the Career Center's resources online and on-site, to do a career exploration, or to find an internship.
  • Help find more information or provide the contact information for people you know working in the field in which your child's interest lies. Find people willing to answer questions and perhaps even host your student for a day on the job.
  • Offer to help brainstorm achievements for the first draft of a résumé (a career counselor should look over the second draft), and to sit down for a practice interview session.

Additional Resources


  • Don’t Tell Me What to Do, Just Send Money: The Essential Parenting Guide to the College Years. Helen E. Johnson and Christine Schelhas-Miller, St. Martin's Press (2011).
  • The Parents Crash Course in Career Planning: Helping Your College Student Succeed. Marcia B. Harris and Sharon L. Jones, Career Dimensions (2007).
  • The Path to Purpose. William Damon, Free Press (2009).
  • Letting Go: A Parent’s Guide to Understanding the College Years. Karen Levin Coburn and Madge Lawrence Treeger, Harper Perennial (2009).
  • Majoring in the Rest of Your Life. Carol Carter. LifeBound (2010).
  • Ready or Not, Here Life Comes. Mel Levine, Simon & Schuster (2006).


Career Center pages maintained by Andrea Kubinski
This page was last updated on 7 September 2016