Listen and be open to ideas. Career planning can be challenging and stressful — this may be the first really big decision your student has ever had to make. One of the most valuable things a parent can do is to listen and maintain an open mind to the often unclear and wandering ideas. Be patient and empathetic, even if you don’t agree with your student’s process and ideas at first.
Encourage your student to visit the Center for Career and Calling and to utilize our online tools and resources. Many students think a college career center is only for graduating seniors. Help your student understand the importance of starting career planning early and visiting the CCC at various stages of the college experience. We can assist with:
Students can contact us to schedule a career counseling appointment or come during our walk-in hours. In addition, we teach career classes and offer career development events throughout the year.
Advise your student to create a résumé and build a professional LinkedIn profile. The process of learning to articulate the value of their past experiences, strengths, and skills encourages students to consider what classes, activities, and experiences to add to their portfolio while in college.
Challenge your student to become “occupationally literate” by exploring his or her calling, taking a career assessment, or talking with professors and mentors. Career planning requires self-reflection, exploration, and experimentation.
Emphasize the importance of internships. Having relevant professional experience will not only look good on your student’s résumé but help guide your student’s professional goals. Summer jobs, volunteer experiences, and internships are critical in today’s competitive job market.
Encourage extracurricular involvement. Students gain skills in communication, teamwork, leadership, project management, and professionalism — qualities valued by future employers — by being involved in student government, service projects, clubs, and other extracurricular activities.
Teach the value of networking by introducing your student to people who have careers of interest. Suggest that your student reach out to your professional contacts to schedule an informational interview or job shadow.
Ways you can get involved with the CCC
Want to assist a current undergraduate with his or her career identity? Whatever your job, interests, or areas of expertise, you can help us help our students in the challenging, yet rewarding, process of career and calling exploration.
Register in the Handshake Mentor Module
Our self-managed Handshake Mentor Module allows you to choose the activities you are interested in and indicate how often you’d like to be contacted for:
- Informational interviews. Share your personal career story with a student who is interested in your job or industry.
- Job shadows. Host a student for a few hours at your workplace for an inside look at a job or company the student is interested in.
- Mentorships. Connect with a student three or four times over several months to share professional expertise and career advice.
- Career presentations. Indicate your interest in presenting career content to interested student clubs or groups. (For example, you could sit on an employer panel for the fashion club or speak to the Student Senate about leadership roles in business settings.)
Want a more customized, curated mentorship experience? Check out the SPU Mentor Program offered through the Center for Applied Learning.
Become a CCC Partner
Interested in volunteering to help with Center for Career and Calling events and programs? Go to the Handshake Employer portal and register as an “employer contact.” Retired or not currently employed? Just indicate that in the “Organization” field, and skip the irrelevant questions. At the bottom of the registration form you can indicate your interest in volunteering to help us with:
- “Résumé Rescue” days (edit student résumés in quick one-on-one meetings)
- Mock interviews
- Etiquette dinners (table sponsor)
- Career conversations/employer panels
- Career classes or career workshops (guest speaker)
Post a Job or Internship for Students and Alumni
Register as an employer in Handshake and follow the instructions to post a job, internship, or volunteer opportunity that will be viewable by SPU students and alumni. For more information, visit our employer pages.