Family Guide to Career Development

You can help empower students throughout the career development stages:

  • Learning Essentials ~ Self-Discovery
    Students continually explore who they are through coursework and extracurricular activities. Assessing their skills, interests, and values help students clarify potential career paths.

    • Boost their self-discovery and exploration process.
    • Understand that major and career uncertainty is common.
    • Encourage your student to be true to self, values, interests, and talents.
    • Give constructive feedback on specific abilities you see in him/her to help develop a solid sense of self.

    How we can help:

    • Career counseling appointments to answer vocational questions and suggest potential next steps while in school and following graduation
    • Career assessment tools, such as the Holland Code, Myers-Briggs, and Job & Career Accelerator and follow-up interpretation discussions with a Career Center staff member
  • Career Exploration ~ College and Career Self-Awareness
    Students explore and test their career options through coursework, internships, work experiences, networking, and volunteer service.

    • Teach the value of networking. Students often neglect accessing existing networks to gain career information and advice. Encourage your student to consider their existing personal network and their occupational paths. Who do you know in your personal circles that may be willing to chat briefly with your son/daughter on possible career plans?
    • Promote job shadowing and informational interviewing. Suggest your student make connections with faculty. Students ultimately need professors to write letters of recommendation for internships, scholarships, or graduate school applications.
    • Suggest exploring an internship, volunteer opportunity, or part-time work, which offers valuable on-the-job experience and connections within a potential career field.
    • Urge your student to visit the Career Center on a regular basis. Career decision-making is a process — not a one-time event.

    How we can help:

    • Assist students in exploring and locating internships and volunteer and job opportunities
    • Help students with job search materials, including résumés, cover letters, and portfolios
    • Prepare for informational interviews (strategy discussions, mock interviews)
    • Offer advice on professional etiquette and communication
    • Provide events for career guidance, networking, and connection to their majors
  • Decision making Career Planning ~ Self-Marketing and Workplace
    • Provide non-judgmental listening and honest feedback
    • Initiate conversations on career plans, listen, respond, and ask questions
    • Help your student clarify ideas, priorities, and concerns
    • Share your own career development experiences
    • Help to develop independent decision-making skills, self-advocacy, and increased motivation
    • Identify strengths and potential career paths to be considered through discussion on academic courses, extracurricular activities, and personal ideals
    • Allow your student to make the decision — even if you disagree with it

    How we can help:

    • Career counseling appointments with career staff to explore potential paths
    • Connect student to alums and professionals in their desired field to identify and explore viable possibilities
  • Career Development ~ Career and Employment
    Beacon College’s Boven Career Center will not “place” your child in a job at graduation. Colleges grant degrees, not job guarantees, so having relevant experience in this competitive job market is critical. Emphasize the importance gaining experience and exposure to their field and confirm their decision.

    • Assist your son or daughter in developing contacts for information, advice, and assistance in career planning and job search issues
    • Refer your student to colleagues, friends, neighbors, parishioners, family, and community members with experience related to his or her interests
    • Offer encouragement to approach people and ask this kind of information
    • Encourage students to avoid procrastination and begin the career planning process early
    • Encourage your student to update their résumé and continue practicing interviewing techniques
    • Help the Career Center when your business has summer, part-time, or full time openings. The staff can help find a student intern or alum, or advertise the position on campus. Volunteer to mentor a college student and let your “real world” experience help others.

    How we can help:

    • The Career Center offers individual counseling appointments and workshops to explore and develop post-graduate strategies for pursuing a full-time job search, graduate school, and internships.
    • Career Center staff will meet with your son/daughter to critique résumés and other job application materials; offer training for interview strategies and mock interviews for diverse paths/purposes; and clarify your son/daughter’s understanding of business etiquette, professional communication, and salary negotiation.