Do you have a college student going to school right now? Maybe you’ve already done the dorm good-bye, holding back tears (or just letting them flow like me to assure maximum embarrassment!) and realizing nobody warned you how hard this would be. I’ve been there and I feel you!

With all of your doubts and concerns (normal!!), the last thing on your mind is where this all may lead 4 years down the road. And it’s surely the last thing your young adult wants to think about.

BUT, in my observation as someone who works in university career services, it is not too soon to start the process! A key distinguishing feature of the student who graduates with a good job in hand is:

  • They begin talking early and often with a career coach on campus about their interests and options
  • They build relationships within the career center, and with their professors and advisors
  • They take advantage of employer engagement in campus activities like information nights, meet and greets, career fairs, etc.
  • They follow up with the recruiters they meet, and make sure their name becomes familiar
  • They’re checking the career services job board, noting deadlines for summer internships (the most prestigious are in the Fall!) and they go for an internship over going back to the same summer job they had in high school

And, here’s the truth…though you may not love it. If you’re hearing from your child that the college career counselor *sucks*, it’s just possible you’re not getting the full picture. Ask them if they are doing all of the things above. College career services is NOT a placement office. We provide services, and the students who do best are those that take full advantage of them.

Sending strength to all of my colleagues out there as classes begin. Keep up the great work!


Ever wonder how to land the job of your dreams?
Find out how with 10 Habits of Successful Job Candidates!