The Office of Career Services exists to empower students to set and achieve their post-graduate goals. We realize the impact that parents have on the lives of their students, particularly with regard to initiative in planning for a career. We hope we can partner with you in this effort.
Students who are not ready to address career/life planning decisions probably will not initiate contact with us and will not be motivated to work on this process. With this in mind, we want to mention a few tips that parents can use to help get their students ready to move through the career development process.
Get to know the services that the Careers Office provides.
Davidson's Career Services Office ensures that our students are prepared to set and achieve their post-graduate professional goals. We provide services, programs and opportunities that allow students to explore how their academic and personal interests relate to future professional opportunities; prepare for entrance into employment, internships, fellowships and graduate school programs; and succeed through on- and off-campus interview opportunities, employer information sessions, and job and graduate school fairs. Encourage your student to use us beginning their first year.
Emphasize internships and experiential learning.
Internships provide an excellent opportunity to test out career interests, gain valuable experience, and connect with employers who may later hire them upon graduation.
Listen empathically to your student's ideas. Encourage them to talk about things that they are considering, and listen nonjudgmentally. Have an open mind to careers and majors that may not be consistent with your expectations. Try to see the situation from their perspective.
Get them curious early on.
Initiate conversations about career plans, life goals, interests, and abilities. Being patient and encouraging can facilitate their desire to explore these issues earlier and not wait until the last minute. Ask open-ended questions. Help your sons and daughters clarify ideas, priorities, and concerns.
Support your student in exploring many different activities and aspects of themselves. Give feedback on specific abilities you see in them to help develop a solid sense of self. Encourage them to be true to self, values, interests, and talents.
Allow your student to make the decision.
While your nonjudgmental input is very valuable, the decision must ultimately be their own. Gradually reduce your role in their decision-making as they begin to develop their own sense of independence.
Familiarize yourself with the career development process.
The more you know about the steps that facilitate good life planning, the better you will be able to assess just where your daughters and sons are at in the process. Suggest steps that would move them gently along, while beginning where they currently are.
Expose them to the world of work.
Students can make better career decisions when they know about a wide range of occupations and get past the stereotypes about different careers. Take your daughters and sons to your workplace, talk about the nature of your job and your friends' jobs, and have them "shadow" someone on the job.
Serve as a networking resource.
Help your students develop contacts for information, advice, and assistance in career planning and job search. Refer your daughters and sons to colleagues, friends, neighbors, parishioners, family, and community members with experience related to their interests. Offer encouragement to students who may be reluctant to approach people and ask for this kind of information.