Heart of the Matter

Andy Chan's Blog for Parents, Mentors and Teachers

What Junior Parents Need to Know at Winter Break

Winter break is the perfect time for juniors to get a jump on the internship search.  The summer internship recruiting season formally begins in January and on-campus interviews will start in February.  While your student is home for winter break inspire them to spend some time doing the following:

  • Rest and reenergize that positive and confident attitude.  This demeanor will go a long way toward impressing all networking contacts and employers.
  • Network! Networking is the most powerful method to secure an internship.  Support your student in his/her networking attempts.  Introduce your student to some friends and family members that will share information about different types of organizations, careers and jobs.  Coach your student on how to conduct an informational interview. During the fall semester, students were offered programming on the most popular on-line networking site, LinkedIn.  Ask your student about their LinkedIn account; “How does it work?”, “Is there a Wake Forest alumni group?”, “What makes LinkedIn different from Facebook?”.  Watch the helpful video tutorials to get the most out of this tool.
  • Check out helpful on-line internship search websites. Over 47% of all Juniors are registered on DeaconSource, the only Wake Forest-specific internship and job posting site.  As a result of our outreach to parents, alumni and employers this fall, the list of employers requesting Wake Forest interns has increased considerably, thus growing the number and quality of internship postings within DeaconSource.  Students should also look at internship databases like internships.com and UCAN.  Your student’s DeaconSource account must be activated to view internships and to access UCAN and Interview Stream.  They can email Laurie Cronin anytime over the break to have their account activated if they agree to attend a DeaconSource Registration meeting prior to February 11, 2010.
  • Winter break is a great time to do some stress-free research. Your student should log-on to Vault to read about how employers describe their industry and career functions. Students should closely review their resume to make sure it is clearly targeted to the internships they are seeking.  It is very impressive to an employer when an applicant clearly communicates their enthusiastic interest and value on their resume and in their cover letter. Your student can get a constructive resume/cover letter critique from a Career Counselor.  We offer resume walk-in hours every day from 1-3 pm and a bonus session on Friday from 10 am-noon.
  • Finally, there is the ultimate test of how well a student can express personal value to the potential employer – the interview.  Over the break, your student can use Interview Stream to practice and strengthen their interview skill.  Later, they can put their skill to the test by making an appointment for a mock interview with a Career Counselor.  Interviews are extremely competitive and challenging for even the most confident candidate.  Preparation and practice is the key to calming the nerves and turning the interview into a valuable exchange of information that will benefit both the employer and the candidate.
  • Upon returning to campus, your student will benefit from a one-on-one appointment with a Career Counselor where ideas and plans can be shared, evaluated and developed.  Our counselors have access to many tools, such as the Focus2 assessment, which students can take independently online in brief 15 minute modules to identify career options that align with their interests, values, skills and personality.  Reassure your student that he or she does not need to “have it all figured out.”  Most students do not.  Our counselors have advised and assisted thousands of Wake Forest students with all different majors, backgrounds, interests and plans and they look forward to working with your student, too.

Encourage your student to use this Winter Break to jump-start the internship search process.  We find that students have (or make) little time for this important activity while on campus.  Winter Break is a great time to make significant progress.

Category: Tips for Parents

One Response to What Junior Parents Need to Know at Winter Break

  1. jerry byrne says:

    thanks….we really appreciate this kind of info, it informs us what to do as well as guides our conversations with our student/son. Please keep this kind of info coming and or send along any helpful links. thanks again jerry byrne