UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls
Career Services looks forward to partnering with you to assist your student in succeeding as a student and professional after graduation. In this section, you can explore ways to communicate with your student about career topics including choosing a major, creating a resume, gaining relevant and essential experience, and more. You will also find links to helpful resources both you and your student can utilize. If you have any questions or would like to learn how to better assist your student, please contact Career Services at 715-425-3572.
View ways in which you can promote career development opportunities to your student beginning their first year at UWRF.
1. Encourage your student to visit our office. If your student is feeling anxious about his/her future, suggest that they check out our website and consider making an appointment with a Career Counselor to discuss their interests and options. Encourage your student to attend Career Services hosted events.
2. Ask your student, "Have you visited the career center?" If you hear, "You only go there when you are a senior," then it's time to reassure them that career services is not just for seniors, and meeting with a career counselor can take place at any point in their college career. The sooner a student becomes familiar with the staff, resources, and programs, the better prepared he or she will be to make wise career decisions.
3. Advise your student to write a resume. Writing a resume can be a "reality test" and help a student identify areas that may be lacking or in need of enhancement. You can review resume drafts for grammar, spelling, and content, but recommend the final product be critiqued by one of our Career Services professionals.
4. Allow your student to make the decision. Career Services provides a variety of resources to assist your student. Career Assessments are one of the tools Career Services utilized to assist individuals with identifying how their personality, skills, values and interests may best match specific majors or career paths. Our office uses the Career Liftoff, which identifies one's interests and relates those to a wide array of potential careers. Upon completing the self assessment, Career Counselors will assist with interpreting and relating the results to potential career or major options.
It's okay to make suggestions about majors and career fields, professional programs, and graduate schools, but let your student be the ultimate judge of what's best for them. Career development can be stressful because this may be the first big decision that they have had to make. Be patient, sympathetic and understanding, even if you don't agree with their decisions.
5. Emphasize the importance of internships. Career Services does not "place" your student in a job upon graduation. Colleges grant degrees, but not job guarantees, so having relevant experience in this competitive job market is critical. Students can sample career options by participating in internships and experimenting with summer employment opportunities or volunteer work. Your student can also search Handshake for internship and job opportunities.
Why an internship?
6. Encourage extracurricular involvement. Part of experiencing college life is to be involved and active outside the classroom. Interpersonal and leadership skills—qualities valued by future employers—are often developed in extracurricular activities within student organizations, intramurals, and other activities on-campus.
7. Expose your student to the world of work. Most students have a stereotypical view of the workplace. Take them to your workplace. Explain what you do for a living. Show them how to network by interacting with your own colleagues. Help your student identify potential employers.
8. Professional networking. Introduce your student to people who have the careers/jobs that are of interest. Suggest your student contact people in your personal and professional networks for information on summer jobs. Encourage your student to use the UWRF Mentor Network on LinkedIn to connect with professionals to learn about career fields through informational interviews, job shadowing, and other opportunities.
9. Help us help your student! If you have a summer, internship, part-time or full-time job opening, please let us know. Visit the Employer Resources part of our website. If you're willing to share your career experience with our students or alumni, we'd love to have you join our Mentor Network.
Inspired by A Parents' Guide to Career Development by Thomas J. Denham.