Parents and Families
Parents and families are integral to their student’s career preparation and professional development process. Often, students turn to their families and trusted guardians for guidance and direction as they make important career decisions.
Parents and families can provide practical advice and feedback regarding their student’s strengths, weaknesses and personality characteristics. However, sometimes parents are unsure about how they can assist their college students with the career planning process. One of the most important things you can do is to provide support and encouragement by being open-minded and non-judgmental as students begin to establish goals and explore possibilities; these are fundamental to student success. Empowering students to take responsibility for their own career exploration and decision-making process ensures personal and professional growth.
The Office of Career Preparation and Professional Development is dedicated to assisting students and alumni with discovering fulfilling career paths while preparing for lifelong career management. Programs, services and events at St. Joseph's University promote student learning and encourage career exploration and professional development. Collaboration with employers as well as faculty and alumni is integral to enhancing career education for St. Joseph's University students.
The Office of Career Preparation and Professional Development suggests the following tips to help you encourage your student to attain a strong foundation for career success.
We strongly suggest that students take full advantage of the Office of Career Preparation and Professional Development resources as soon as they enter the University. It is important to begin the process early so that students can utilize all of the services to maximize their success. Your student’s first year of college is the optimal time to begin using our services and exploring potential career paths connected with his/her interests and abilities.
Comprehensive career services are offered and help students with critical decisions, such as:
- Choosing a major
- Exploring interests and careers
- Gaining experience through internships, volunteering and extracurricular activities
- Researching and applying to graduate school
- Developing a career plan
Motivate your student to take full advantage of all the career services that are available. Résumé and cover letter writing, interview preparation, graduate school planning, and participation in career workshops and events are just some of the many services that are key to career success.
When speaking with your student, keep an open mind about his/her interests and goals. Periodically discuss with your child his/her career plans, and encourage him/her to make an appointment with a career counselor. Remind your student that the office is not just for juniors and seniors seeking a job, but it is for all students interested in their career preparation and professional development.
Become involved by encouraging your student to explore and further develop his/her interests through various experiences. Interpersonal and leadership skills, which are valued by future employers, are often developed through involvement in campus activities, leadership positions, community service, study abroad, research opportunities, internships and part-time jobs.
Networking is a key component of professional development. Suggest that your student network with people who have careers that are interesting to him/her, and encourage your child to join professional associations to further enhance his/her professional network.
Share: Post a Job or Internship Opportunity
If you would like to recruit St. Joseph's University students and alumni for your own company/organization's full-time/part-time positions or internships, you can post your opportunities online through
If you are interested in having the Office of Career Preparation and Professional Development speak with your Human Resources Representative regarding recruitment opportunities, contact us at 631.687.1248 or [email protected].
Frequently Asked Questions
What if my student is undecided about a major?
Being undecided about a major is actually more common than people think. St. Joseph's University offers a great educational foundation that allows students to explore options. The Office of Career Preparation and Professional Development can provide support through both informal and formal career assessments, helping them to narrow down choices and select an appropriate major. Encourage your student to make an appointment with a counselor.
How can I help my student be more successful in landing a job after graduation?
Encourage your student to meet with the Office of Career Preparation and Professional Development early in his/her college career. Promote opportunities to get involved on campus and in your local community. Resources are available at the University to help ensure success not only in academics, but also with skill building opportunities in service and leadership roles. Starting early is essential, and meeting with the office at least once a semester is a great way to get a head start on building his/her résumé and cover letter, practicing interviewing and learning how to conduct a successful job search.
My student is not very outgoing and struggles to ask for guidance. How can I get him/her to make an appointment?
Speak with your student openly about his/her concerns. Let your student know that asking for support is not easy for everyone, but not receiving support can be even more stressful. The office can be reached either in person, by phone or via email. We encourage students to make and attend appointments on their own. The content of an appointment is driven by the student and can cover a wide array of topics relating to a student’s career preparation and professional development.
What do I do if my student wants to go into a field that I think may not pay very well?
As a parent or family member, we only want the best for our student. Encourage your student to research potential career fields, helping him/her to make informed decisions. Utilizing the O*Net Online and The Occupational Outlook Handbook can provide excellent information on labor market statistics, including the outlook for specific occupations and expected salary. Have an open dialogue about your concerns, but be supportive, as each of us has our own measure of success and personal values.
I know that internships and extracurricular activities are important, but my student must work to keep up with his/her college expenses. How do students do both?
With careful planning, students can meet their financial obligations for college while gaining experience for the future. Internship opportunities, many of which are paid, can provide opportunities for income while gaining relevant professional experience. In some areas, particularly the nonprofit sector, internships are unpaid but offer valuable hands-on experience. Many students balance a part-time job and volunteer work while maintaining excellence in their coursework. This demonstrates excellent organizational abilities, a positive work ethic and a commitment to important goals. Summer is a great time to complete an internship as well, and allows for a rich experience in an area of interest. Encourage students to meet with a career counselor to discuss ways to overcome this challenge.
If my student has graduated, is he/she able to use your services?
Alumni are able to use the services of the Office of Career Preparation and Professional Development. Alumni can make appointments with a career counselor and gain assistance with their continuing professional development. Topics often include a career change, advancing in their field, graduate school, or online resources and social media. The St. Joseph's University online job board, Handshake, can be a valued resource for employer sourcing and job search.