How to actively encourage your student’s career and development success

To reach their professional goals after graduation, students need to be proactive in their career development. Here are some tips on how you can actively encourage your student’s career development to help them be successful.

Most careers take unexpected twists and turns, and in a constantly changing job market, students today need to be prepared for the unexpected and unpredictable of tomorrow. For many students this can be a complicated and daunting process. What do I major in? When do I need to do an internship? Where can I find opportunities?

At Lake Forest College, we help students develop a breadth and depth of experience allowing them to confidently take on the challenges of tomorrow’s world. As a parent, you can help your student with this process by following some of our tips below. 

Help your student identify and articulate their passion.

Your student needs to be able to articulate what it is he or she is interested in – they may not start by being very specific in their interests, but by developing comfort in talking about what they like makes it easier for them to engage in networking activities, explore careers and choose experiences. When getting started, a student might not be able to be more specific than sharing a love for helping people; this is a fine starting point. Here are a few questions you can ask your student the next time you talk to him or her to provide practice thinking about likes and dislikes:

  • What made a class exciting or engaging for you?
  • What activities did you most enjoy?
  • What things did you struggle with?
  • Were there missed opportunities this semester? How can you position yourself to be better prepared next semester?
  • What do you want to learn more about?
  • What do you want to accomplish next semester?

These questions will help your student reflect on goals, values, and interests, as well as identify what action steps he or she might want to take next semester.

Encourage your student to participate in career events and workshops on and off campus.

The Career Advancement Center hosts many different career events and workshops throughout the academic year to help students develop essential skills or connect them with alumni, employers, and graduate schools. Below are some upcoming events you should encourage your student to attend:

  • Speed Networking

Wednesday, October 2 at 4 p.m. in the Mohr Student Center

Speed Networking is a great way for students to connect with alumni and employers in their career fields of interest. All students are encouraged to participate, whether they are a first year deciding what they want to do or a senior preparing for their transition after Lake Forest. For additional information about the event, click hereStudents must attend a prep session in the weeks prior to the event to be eligible for participation. 

  • Graduate/Professional School Fair at UIC

Thursday, October 17 starting at 3 p.m. at UIC Forum

Over 200 Graduate/Professional schools from all over the country will be in Chicago for the annual Graduate/Professional School Fair. This is a great opportunity for students to meet with graduate school representatives to learn more about admissions, program requirements, tuition, scholarships, and more. For more information, please click here.

Recommend visits to the Career Advancement Center.

Your student has an experienced and knowledgeable career advisor right on campus to help them figure out everything from what they want to do to actually getting it. Encourage your student to call the Career Advancement Center at 847-735-5235 to schedule an appointment. Career advisors are here to help your student achieve their goals.