Your student is beginning the life-long journey of professional development. You, as a parent, play a vital role in supporting your student through this process. You can have an important supportive and influential role in helping your student reach his or her career and personal aspirations. We would like to invite you to partner with us at the Center for Student Professional Development (CSPD) to help your student decide on, gain relevant skills and gain a job in their chosen field.
Plan for Parents
- Encourage student to make grades a top priority and to participate in class by asking and answering questions, attending professor office hours when needed and turning work in on time. This not only makes for a better learning experience, but helps students form relationships with professors who may be able to provide letters of recommendation.
- Emphasize importance of involvement in student clubs and organizations. There are over 300 student organizations on campus, something for every interest.
- Ask student if they have explored the Center for Student Professional Development and familiarized themselves with the services provided.
- Coach your student to start compiling their resume using the CSPD-recommended template.
- Encourage student to register with the Handshake career database and learn about the different opportunities presented on the platform.
- Talk to your student about the possibility of getting summer job or internship. While a position relevant to their major would be ideal, any kind of work experience is valuable.
- Suggest that your student engages in some kind of volunteer experience to help gain experience and differentiate themselves from other students.
- Help your student obtain business professional attire (a conservative suit) so they are prepared for any interview opportunities that may come up.
- Employers may check credit reports as part of the hiring process. Talk to your student about financial responsibility and the importance of paying bills on time, limiting the use of credit cards and setting a budget.
- Remind your student that majors and careers are not always directly linked. Refer your student to the Academic Advising office, where staff can ensure that your student’s chosen major will not limit applying their interests professionally.
- Ensure that your student has uploaded their resume to VMock, the smart career platform for feedback. Encourage them to send it to you for your feedback using the Request Feedback function.
- Ask your student if they check Handshake regularly so they aware of summer, internship or full-time opportunities.
- Help your child begin to develop an informal professional network. Consider asking your friends and colleagues if they would be willing to talk with your student about their professions, jobs and experiences.
- Emphasize importance of searching early for summer internships. The most competitive internships close in October or November! Multiple internships increase the chance of finding a post-graduation job.
- Remind your student to take advantage of the resources offered by the CSPD, whether it is interview workshops, networking events or resume feedback.
- Ask student if they have participated in any general or major-specific networking events with corporate companies around campus. Remind them that it’s never too early to be meeting potential employers!
- Support student’s career goals even if it is not your first choice for her/him or what you consider to be the most “sensible.” Encourage student to learn as much as possible about intended field/position by utilizing the staff and resources in the CSPD.
- Encourage student to stay involved with clubs or organizations they joined as a first-year student or add others to their repertoire.
- Remind your student that employers check social media accounts as part of the hiring process and encourage your student to remove any posts or photos that could be considered unprofessional. Suggest they create a LinkedIn account to develop their professional brand.
- Continue to help your student to create an informal network. Ask them if they know peers who have internships in their intended career field. Additionally, ask your student if they are acquainted with professionals or faculty that might help him/her explore a field of interest and set up informational interviews.
- Emphasize the importance of attending workshops related to interviewing, networking and internships instructed by CSPD staff that are included in the Career Action Program (CAP).
- Ask student if they have updated their resume to reflect work, volunteer and activities from the past two years.
- In the fall, ask student what they are doing in order to obtain a summer internship or co-op.
- Encourage students to attend career fairs (Several of these happen throughout the year).
- Emphasize importance of taking on leadership roles within student groups. This could include student or community clubs and organizations, volunteering or community service opportunities.
- Encourage student to take a full course load during their junior year. Looking for a full-time post graduate opportunity takes time and saving courses to take during senior year could create an overwhelming work load when combined with a job search.
- Help expand opportunities available to your student by asking your employer, colleagues and friends to recruit at UTSA and extend internships or full-time opportunities to the Center for Student Professional Development.
- Ask your student what CSPD workshops related to interviewing, networking and job searching they’ve attended and encourage them to share with you what they’ve learned.
- Ask student for a copy of their résumé in case you have an opportunity to aid in their networking.
- If you have a LinkedIn account, connect with your student so they can expand their level 2 connections and grow their professional network.
- Encourage your student to attend career fairs on and off campus, company-sponsored information sessions, meet-and-greets and any other networking events.
- Talk with student about graduate school interests early in the fall semester since many applications for the following fall are due as early as November.
- Remind your student to be realistic in their job search and to be prepared to take an entry-level job. They can grow with a company by working hard and taking on more challenges.
- Be supportive of your student during the job search process. Rejection is a part of every search and can be discouraging. Remind them that finding the right fit can be both challenging and time-consuming, but it will pay off.
- Ask student how you can help.
- Listen, be patient and do not worry!