Heart of the Matter

Andy Chan's Blog for Parents, Mentors and Teachers

Your Sophomore Student's Holiday To-Do List

Sophomore year brings forth a lot of challenges as your student begins to juggle a full academic workload, extracurricular activities and the decision regarding their major of study. Now that they have completed three semesters at Wake Forest, they should be able to identify the types of courses they like and dislike and be prepared to declare their major and potential minor(s).

Here are three easy things that you can encourage your sophomore student to do while they are home:

  1. Talk about major selection. Sophomore students are encouraged to declare their major when they return to campus in late January. If your student has little clarity on their selection, inquire about their current courses. Which classes have they most enjoyed and why? Which classes have the performed best in and why?  Which classes and majors in the course bulletin do they find most interesting and why? For more clarity, encourage your student to take the Focus 2, an online self-assessment, which aligns their results with possible majors and career paths. Often, students mistakenly choose or dismiss a major based on what they (incorrectly) assume are the employment outcomes for a particular major.  For more information on majors and likely career outcomes as well as the first destination results of Wake Forest graduates in specific majors, go to the “Explore Majors” tab on our website.
  2. Update their DeaconSource profile. Each semester, your student should update their DeaconSource profile to reflect their current career interests and GPA. By selecting up to three different interests (e.g. Consulting, Government, Legal, Non-Profit, Research, Marketing/Sales/PR/Advertising), students will receive personalized email announcements tailored to those interests. These emails are increasingly important for your student now that organizations will begin recruiting for summer interns after the break and throughout the Spring semester.
  3. Prepare for their internship search. The majority of employers say that internship experience is an extremely important prerequisite  for future job opportunities. Many internship applications become available as early as January, so remind your student to update their resume with their current GPA and extracurricular activities, and then get it reviewed during our daily resume reviews when they return to campus. The “Find an Internship” tab on our website has a multitude of resources to aid in their search.  If they seem motivated, encourage them to meet a few contacts who work in areas that interest them.  Here are some tips to get started.

Learning about and using these valuable resources and developing these key skills will help your student begin to build a strong foundation for their personal and career development.  Starting now will make it easier throughout their college experience and will be of benefit to them throughout their lives.

Category: Making the Most of Breaks