Encourage open communication about majors and careers.
- Do not be judgmental about the student's choices.
- Be patient and supportive, but raise important questions and issues.
- Which college classes have you enjoyed the most? Why?
- When do you have to declare a major?
- What was the advice of your academic or career advisor?
- Which majors are you considering? Why?
- Which electives do you think would best complement your major?
- Can you be academically successful in the majors you are considering?
Benefits of Experience (Summer, volunteer, leadership, etc.)
- Exposure to career interests, industries, and potential employers.
- Opportunity to use and enhance skills as well as develop new ones.
- Employers value internship or related experiences.
- Contacts are made with other professionals.
- Job search skills are developed by applying for internships.
- Career options are confirmed, rejected, or expanded.
Benefits of Extracurricular Experience
- Develop skills and self-confidence.
- Evidence of initiative, perseverance, and resourcefulness.
- Development of leadership, teamwork, and other skills.
- What types of internships are available in your areas?
- In what campus organizations are you participating? Are you taking a leadership role?
- Where have students in your major interned?
Thinking About Graduate School
Reasons to Attend Graduate or Professional School
- Advanced degree may be required.
Reasons Not to Attend Graduate or Professional School
- Do not know what to do other than school.
- Pressure from friends, family, etc.
- Expectation that another degree will make a tough job market better.
- Why do you want to go to graduate/professional school?
- What kind of qualifications do you need to be competitive?
- What programs do your faculty recommend? How do they rate you as a candidate?
- Have you considered a backup plan to graduate school?
Taking Time Off After Graduation
Possible Reasons for Taking Time Off
- Uncertainty about career direction.
- Explore career interests (legal, finance, international, etc.).
- Burnout on academics and desire for a break before graduate/professional studies.
- A chance to explore personal goals and motivations.
- Opportunity to travel abroad or pursue other adventures.
- What are you immediate plans following graduation?
- Why are you considering taking time off? Have you checked with your faculty about how this is viewed by graduate/professional schools?
- How do you plan to finance this experience? What about health insurance?