Heart of the Matter

Andy Chan's Blog for Parents, Mentors and Teachers

Help Your Child Go for the Gold

The OPCD is getting into the Olympic spirit!

If you haven’t seen the Proctor & Gamble advertisement honoring the mothers of various Olympians, it’s worth seeing.  My own kids like to tease me about how I get choked up and emotional watching touching stories, and this ad definitely got a tear out of me!


Whether or not the ad affected you, most of us agree that we wouldn’t be where we are today without the support of our parents.

One crucial step for parents is the college-to-career process.  From taking your prospective student on college tours and helping him (or her) decide on the best fit school to helping him make connections and prepare for job or internship interviews, you are a pivotal player in the process.  When I ask parents to guess who has the most influence on student career decisions, they typically don’t include themselves.  In our work with thousands of students each year, we find that parents actually hold the greatest influence on student career decision making.

So it’s so important for parents to take this role and responsibility seriously.  That means parents need to be very conscious of the opinions they share, the judgements they make and the expectations they have.  Every interaction with your student sends them a message about whether or not you approve of their choices and process.  Students really feel a lot of pressure and anxiety, and parents can either add to the intensity or they can help the student handle it in a positive, supportive manner.

Compounding this challenging reality, the world of work is evolving at an increasingly rapid pace.  There is so much new information regarding how and when various employers recruit, what careers are hot (and not), the value of graduate school, how to utilize social networks, how to best use the career office and many other questions.  In order to guide and advise your student effectively, you need accurate information to base your opinions, advice and decisions on.  You must understand the environment, resources and opportunities available to your student through the OPCD (and other networks and connections that you or your students may possess).  It really does “take a village” to help our students achieve positive career outcomes.  Very few “go it alone” these days.

To help you learn about the best ways to help your child on the path from college-to-career, please visit our OPCD parent page for important information and resources.  Thank you for all that you do to support your students and assist in their career development process.

Category: Tips for Parents