The MU Career Center recognizes the important role that families play in students’ career journeys. Our goal is to help your student acquire the skills, experiences and connections needed to thrive in their careers over a lifetime. You can help us achieve this goal by encouraging your student to learn more about our resources and services, and to visit us. We can help your student with all their career needs and questions, including:
How You Can Help
You are a crucial part of the team working with your student toward their academic and career success. Here are ways in which you can actively engage and assist your student in the career development process.
Encourage your student to visit our office
We are ready to help your student the minute they step on campus! Because some of our more recognized services relate to the job search, a common assumption is that students shouldn’t connect with us until they are an upperclassman.
Assure your student that career services is intended for all students, and meeting with a Career Specialist (peer career advisor) can take place at any point during their college career. The sooner students become familiar with our staff, resources, and programs, the better prepared they will be to make informed career decisions and achieve their goals.
Allow your student to make decisions
It’s helpful to make suggestions about majors and career fields, but let your student drive the process and be the ultimate judge of what’s best. Be ready to hear new ideas and with an open mind, making positive suggestions when appropriate. Ask open-ended questions to help them think through options.
We recognize that career development can also be stressful. This may be one of the biggest decisions that your student has had to make. Demonstrate patience and understanding, even if you don’t fully agree with their decisions. And if students are feeling overwhelmed, they can reach out to a career counselor for individual assistance.
Advise your student to write a resume
Resumes are needed for most job and internship applications, so we encourage freshmen to create one. Writing a resume can also help your student identify skills, experiences, or areas they want to develop and improve. Suggest your student use online career resources or connect with a Career Specialist to draft and refine their resume.
Encourage your student to login to Handshake
Employment opportunities, including on-campus jobs, part-time positions, internships and full-time career opportunities are posted on HireMizzouTigers.com, powered by Handshake. Whether or not a student is actively seeking a job, Handshake is a helpful tool to show students what they can do with their major and the kinds of employers recruiting Mizzou talent.
Emphasize the importance of hands-on learning
Part of experiencing college life is to be involved and active outside the classroom. Students often develop interpersonal, communication, leadership, teamwork and other skills that Fare highly valued by future employers.
Hands-on learning through research, campus involvement, employment, service-learning and study abroad help students develop and achieve personal, academic, and professional goals. Additionally, talk with your student about the courses and activities they are enjoying and have them reflect on the new things they learn about themselves throughout their college experience.
Promote learning about the world of work
Most students have a stereotypical view of the workplace. Take them to your workplace and explain to them what you do for a living. Show them how to network by interacting with your own colleagues.
You can also begin by asking your student about ideas on what they might want to do when they graduate. If your student seems unsure, point out the personal qualities you see as talents and strengths and recommend:
- Taking a “self-assessment career inventory,” such as Focus 2
- Talking to favorite faculty members and their academic advisor
- Researching a variety of interesting career fields and employers using online career communities
- Arranging informational interviews with professionals
Teach the value of networking
Introduce your student to people who have the careers of interest to them. Suggest they contact professionals for information about what they do, what they like about their work, and any advice for someone interested in that role. Encourage your student to “shadow” someone in the workplace to increase their awareness and knowledge of career fields. Students can identify contacts through:
- Researching alumni on LinkedIn
- Registering with the Mizzou Mentoring Program
- Joining academic clubs and professional associations
- Speaking with other students, faculty, and staff members
Networking is often intimidating to students, so we suggest they first read our Guide to Networking.
We encourage family members to visit the Mizzou Families web page where you can subscribe to the Mizzou Families newsletter.