Parents

 
Avoiding a Major Mistake
Some students struggle with picking a major.
Experts advise students shouldn't rush into choosing one if they aren't ready.
Read the 10 Biggest Mistakes in Picking a Major

Being Proactive: Steps for Career Success

Most students enter college with a limited idea of the career options available to them. Once here, they begin a process of self-discovery that builds. While freshmen often assume it is too early to begin, there are important steps they should be taking now.

Explore Options

Most students enter college with a limited idea of the courses and majors available to them.  Once here, they begin a process of self-discovery in terms of values, interests, skills and abilities.  As a parent, you can support your student by encouraging him/her to:

  • Be open-minded in picking a major and career interest, even if he/she has declared a major/minor.
     
  • Meet with a Career Services advisor to discuss career interests.
     
  • Talk with an academic advisor as well as faculty in departments of interest as a way to ascertain the education and skills needed for jobs related to various career interests.
     
  • Go to the BW CareerPlace Library to browse through our resource materials.
     
  • Use the Web to do research on careers and occupation outlooks.
     
  • Go to the Career Services website and do the self-guided activities, including Discover software program, designed to help students identify career matches. 

Take Action

Being proactive in their freshman year helps students stay on track and take advantage of the many opportunities offered at BW.  In talking with your student, suggest he/she:

  • Participate in co-curricular activities, especially those that build leadership, communication and team management skills.
     
  • Do service-oriented activities in areas relating to his/her career interest.
     
  • Utilize e-portfolio, BW's online tool that helps your student store information about academic achievements and co-curricular activities for use in creating a resume and career portfolio.
     
  • Activate his/her BW Career Network account, a Web-based platform designed to provide your student with 24/7 access to Career Services and the ability to conduct career research, access information about upcoming events and job/internship postings, upload and publish resumes, apply for positions online and network with BW alumni.
     
  • Attend a Resume Writing Clinic and other BW career-related workshops.
     
  • Contact family, friends and BW alumni who are in fields of interest to see about setting up appointments for informational interviews and/or work shadowing opportunities. 

Look Ahead

As students expand their campus involvement and narrow their career interests, they can begin fine tuning their efforts and making plans.  As you continue to talk with your student about career choices, you might advise that he/she:

  • Think about internship and summer job opportunities.
     
  • Seek diversity-related initiatives such as study abroad, foreign language and on-campus cultural activities—opportunities that will enhance your student's career marketability as well as boost his/her personal and professional attributes and insights.
     
  • Learn which professional organizations are related to his/her career interests and consider joining one or more of these organizations as a way to facilitate networking.
     
  • Read professional trade publications and newsletters related to his/her career interests.
     
  • Look for research and other practical learning opportunities offered at BW and elsewhere as a means to further learn about career opportunities and gain valuable resume-boosting credentials.
     
  • Pursue mentoring opportunities with professors, career professionals and others.

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