Parents as Partners
Career Services and the Internship Center offer limitless resources for your student's career development! Our welcoming and professional staff can assist your student with all career-related issues including:
- choosing a major
- exploring career options using eDISCOVER and through our Job Shadow Experience program
- gaining hands-on experience through Co-op (paid, career-related experience) and internships
- preparing for the job and/or graduate school search, including learning how to write a resume, developing a portfolio and successful interviewing skills, and learning how to conduct an effective job search
You should encourage your Cal U student to begin the career development process early (beginning freshman year) by enrolling in our Career Advantage Program, stopping by our offices, visiting our websites and participating in career events. Students are also encouraged to schedule a one-on-one appointment by calling Career Services at 724-938-4413, or the Internship Center at 724-938-6040.
If you would like to receive e-mails about upcoming events, call our office at 724-938-4413 to join our parent e-mail list.
Frequently Asked Questions:
When should my student begin working with your office?
What happens during a typical career coaching appointment with Career Services?
My freshman has already decided on a major; why would he or she need Career Services?
How can my student find a Co-op or internship?
What is Career Services' role in finding my student a job after graduation?
What can I do to support my student as he or she establishes career goals?
Freshman year! Our Career Advantage Program saves you and your student time and money by helping him or her to graduate in four years ... if he/she participates beginning the first year here at Cal U. However, your student can use our services and resources at any time during his or her academic career and for his/her lifetime after graduation.
Your student will meet one-on-one with a career counselor who is well-versed on career issues and understands the major field they are pursuing. If your student has not chosen a major or is interested in changing a major, our counselors utilize career assessments to help your student clarify their interests, skills and values and to explore career options. Other appointment topics might involve searching for a Co-op or internship, developing a resume or practicing interviewing skills. Confidentiality is maintained so that your student feels comfortable.
Many students begin their freshman year of college with a good deal of confidence in their major; but research shows that many students change their major several times - prolonging their graduation and increasing your investment in tuition. With any major, there are a number of career paths students can choose depending on their interests and abilities. Shadowing, networking and gaining hands-on experience through a Co-op, internship or volunteer work can assist your student in developing important skills that employers seek, while providing experiences that help your student to focus his/her career goals.
In today's rapidly changing workplace, gaining work-related experience and skills are the keys to a new graduate's success in finding employment. For this reason, we encourage all students to engage in some form of experiential learning such as a Co-op or internship. The Co-op positions listed through the College Central Network are all paid; internships listed through InternLink are both paid and unpaid and provide academic credit. In addition, there are multiple online resources for identifying Co-ops and internships.
Career Services is committed to preparing your student to gain a career advantage. While we do not "place" students into jobs, we provide numerous opportunities and resources that support the career development and job search processes. Our office sponsors or co-sponsors many career events where students have the opportunity to interact with employers.
Each student is unique, but following are five tips to share with your student:
- Visit Career Services EARLY in your college career. Too many people go through college and first jobs without really knowing their own attitudes and values, so take time to find out about yourself, what you are good at and what you enjoy.
- Take control over your decisions. Don't let others, or fate, make them for you.
- Explore occupations for yourself - don't accept stereotypes and look at all of your options. Use resources available in Career Services and do information interviews with people working in careers that interest you.
- Get involved in internships, extra-curricular activities, volunteer experiences and job shadows. These experiences will help you to develop skills, "test out" and focus your career interests, and gain valuable experience that will help you better compete for jobs and other opportunities after graduation!
- Set realistic goals and expectations (salary, level of responsibility, etc.) for your first employment opportunity
As a parent, you can:
- Be prepared to offer support - career planning and job searching can be highly stressful!
- Give leads for informational interviews and internships if possible - you may "know someone who knows someone" in their field of interest.
- Ask your student if they have a resume prepared and encourage them to start one.
- Use positive reinforcement when they take steps toward finding a job.
- Avoid the impulse to call potential employers on their behalf! Being too involved will make it look like your student cannot stand on his or her own two feet.
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