Help Student find their Path
Both you and your student are off on a new adventure, college! What you need to know is that choosing a career is a process, for everyone. All students go through the stages of this process at different speeds. The steps of this process include:
- Assessing interests, personality, values and skills and abilities (this is an important first step to choosing an appropriate career)
- Exploring majors and career options
- Gaining experience with possible career options (through co-op education, internships, part-time/full time opportunities, networking)
- Organizing and conducting a job or graduate school search.
The Office of Career Services at the University of New Mexico can help your student at each stage!
Freshman year- Allow them to try out the college experience.
- Support your student's exploration of new areas of study and interests. This, after all, is what education is all about! Your student will have many opportunities to become more involved with UNM by participating in programs, events and clubs offered by the Student Activities Center.
- Affirm what you know to be areas of skill and ability he or she has consistently demonstrated.
- Support your student's responsible involvement in campus activities but urge this to be balanced with maintaining academic achievement.
- Urge your student to seek assistance from the Office of Career Services. We can help them with defining their skills and abilities, interests, personality and values.
Sophomore year- Exploration of major and career!
- Don't insist that a decision must be made about a certain major or career choice immediately. If you sense that your student's indecision is a barrier to their progress, encourage them to seek assistance from Career Services, faculty and their academic advisors. Students often have difficulty making a "final" choice because they fear they may close off options and make the "wrong choice". For help on what you can do with your major, visit our Majors & Careers page!
- Encourage informational interviews. Direct your student to family, friends, or people in their/your network who are in a field in which they have an interest in, and support them in talking to these professionals.
- Remind your student about opportunities on campus such as on-campus recruiting, information sessions and career fairs in order to better connect with the professional world
Junior Year- Experimentation! Internships! Cooperative Education! Volunteer!
- Encourage your student to use the resources available at the Career Services. Experts there will assist your student in preparing a good resume and finding opportunities to test their career choices, including internships, cooperative education programs, and summer job listings. Career Services is in direct contact with employers.
- Internships or summer experiences in some very competitive fields may be non-paying. Also, a good opportunity may be in a distant location. Discuss your financial expectations with your student before a commitment is made.
- Don't conduct the internship or summer job search for your student. It's a great help to provide networking contacts or names of people who may be helpful, however, making the contact and speaking for your student deprives him or her of an important learning experience—and may make a poor impression on the future employer.
Senior Year- Job Search! Graduation! Graduate School!
- Suggest that he or she visit Career Services throughout the senior year. Our office provides assistance in preparation for the job search: workshops and individual help with resume and cover letter writing, interviewing, and other job-search skills, Individual and group career advising, on-campus interviewing opportunities and Alumni links to mentoring and networking.
- Don't nag your student about not having a job yet! This will often have the reverse effect. Use positive reinforcement.
- Offer to assist by sending information you may have found about the career field of your student's choice and/or job listings that may be of interest.