Heart of the Matter

Andy Chan's Blog for Parents, Mentors and Teachers

Motivating first year students

A reader recently asked me for suggestions on how to motivate her first year student to begin the career process.  Here is some guidance from our career counselors:

Most first-year students use the fall semester as a time to adjust to “real” college life, which includes the load and stress of classwork, studying and research, and the freedom to make choices in how they spend their time. It is normal for a freshman to not have considered the resources that Career Services can offer. We see interest in our services pick up during the sophomore fall and spring semesters, especially since major declaration is required in February.

However, it would be advantageous to meet with a career counselor this semester to begin the exploration process in a proactive, informed manner.  She will also be less likely to miss out on potential opportunities and experiences.

Another option is to talk to your daughter about pursuing some type of career exploration experience during this semester or the summer (e.g. shadowing a person/alumnus in a field of interest or obtaining a summer job/volunteer experience/internship) – in exchange for receiving something else of value.  Bribery does sometime work!  Once your daughter has this experience, her interest in career-related “stuff” will likely be piqued.

Also, ask your daughter to register for a career development course for first year and sophomore students scheduled to begin in fall 2012.   She will receive credit for taking the course so she will likely take it seriously and make progress on her journey from college to career.

Category: Tips for Parents