Wondering how you can encourage your student to take full advantage of the university experience while also beginning to think ahead to career choices? Here are a few suggestions.
Encourage your student to try new things.
Self-exploration may feel a little frivolous but it’s never a waste of time. It’s time well spent in getting to know yourself better, which will allow you to make better choices about academic and career next steps. That, in a nutshell, is what university is all about. It’s important that your student understands this.
Support your student if they decide to make a career pivot.
Sometimes students are reluctant to change paths academically, out of fear of disappointing a parent or other supporter. They feel like they’re stuck with their first choice of major, even if that choice no longer feels like a great fit for them. It is important for you to encourage your student to make the choices that are right for them—even if that means mapping out a slightly different path to career satisfaction than the one they had envisioned originally. The good news is that Trent’s flexible approach to learning and program design makes it easy for a student to make an academic pivot to take advantage of new and emerging interests and abilities. Your student’s academic advisor can help them to switch gears.
Remind your student to document all the new skills they’re acquiring.
Volunteer work, internships, and extra-curricular activities don’t just help a student to feel connected with the campus: they also offer an invaluable opportunity to acquire a wide range of highly marketable skills—the very types of skills that open doors for a student who is pursuing their first job post-graduation. Encourage your student to document the skills they’re acquiring via Trent’s Co-Curricular Record, which serves as a record of all the exciting things they’ve learned outside the classroom.
Help your student to consider a wide range of career options.
Many of the skills that your student is acquiring at Trent will be applicable to a large number of potential careers. Your best bet is to encourage your student to be curious and open-minded when it comes to exploring career possibilities: to talk to people working in their fields of interest about new and emerging career opportunities, to build a network of professional contacts through volunteer work, and to join professional associations and forge relationships with potential mentors.
Encourage your student to take full advantage of the services and supports available to them through the Career Centre.
They will want to know about:
- The Further Education Expo (which focuses on study options for students who are interested in continuing their studies at graduate school, via a professional program, or by pursuing a post-graduate diploma);
- Life After Trent alumni networking events providing current students with an opportunity to speak with recent graduates about the transition from classroom to career;
- One-on-one career sessions and group workshops focused on occupational research, identifying career options, job search skills, professional networking, resume writing, and interview preparation.