Frequently Asked Questions by Parents
- When should my son/daughter begin using the XPD Office?
- What resources are provided to students who are choosing a major?
- What assessment testing is available to students?
- What kind of internships do most students do?
- What resources does XPD provide for students going on to graduate school?
- What services are available for my son or daughter who is graduating this year?
- How can parents and family members help with the career/job search process?
- How can a liberal arts education help my son/daughter in the job market?
When should my son/daughter begin using the XPD Office? We recommend that all first year students become familiar with the many resources we offer. XPD - Experience & Professional Development offers resources on choosing a major and research material for 1st and 2nd year students to learn more about specific careers and occupations. We also offer self-assessment inventories which help many students define their strengths and talents which can make choosing a major or career more clearly defined.
For juniors and seniors, XPD provides resources for internships, fellowships, summer employment, full-time employment, volunteer opportunities, and graduate school information. During the search process, we meet with students throughout the year, helping with resume writing, cover letter formatting, and search strategies. We also offer many programs outside of the office at CSB and SJU to help students learn more about career choices and give networking opportunities with CSB/SJU alums. Check out our Calendar of Events for specific programs coming up!
XPD - Experience & Professional Development offers many resources for 1st and 2nd year students who are choosing a major. Our Career Coaches can meet individually with students to go over options for making this decision. We educate students to let them know that an academic major is not the only predictor of career choice (see "What Can I do with a Major in...".) There are also many programs offered throughout the year for students to attend and learn more about majors.
Before students can start choosing majors and careers, they need to focus on learning more about themselves. Asking students the questions, "Who am I? What's important to me? and What do I want to do with my life?" are a start in the exploration of one's interests, skills, values, and personality characteristics. Also looking at what subject areas students are interested in testing out and asking questions like: "What classes did you enjoy and do well in during your high school years? What activities did you enjoy from summer jobs, part-time jobs, and volunteer and extra-curricular experiences? What skills have others complimented you on?" help students begin to analyze their motivations and passions in deciding majors and careers.
There are a variety of inventories and assessments that are available to help students explore and examine these questions. These inventories are "tools" to assist; they can not "tell you what to do!" Once you've taken these inventories, they provide the opportunity to "see a summary of your possible interests/personality types on paper" to reflect and discuss with a counselor. The two most common assessments we provide to students are the Strong Interest Inventory and the Myers-Briggs Type Interest Inventory.
Our students complete a variety of paid and unpaid internships for credit and experience. Many intern over the summer or during spring or fall semesters. We provide listings of current and past internship opportunities for students online and on Handshake. Many students complete internships between their junior and senior years. There are internships available in almost every field and are one of the most sought after experiences employers look for while hiring new graduates.
XPD - Experience & Professional Development provides many resources for students interested in continuing on to graduate school. Our resource center contains handouts and literature as well as listings of graduate programs throughout the country. Our staff also facilitates sessions on the graduate school application process, including sessions on writing personal essays as well as sessions with current graduate students. More Info...
The XPD offices at both CSB and SJU offer a variety of resources for graduating seniors. Whether your son or daughter is planning for their first job, attending graduate school, or looking to volunteer after graduation, we provide many resources for all aspects of planning for life after graduation. More specifically, here are some of the resources provided throughout the year for seniors:
- Job Fairs
- On-Campus Interviewing
- Handshake: Our online recruiting tool
- Job Listings and Search Resources
- Graduate School Resources
One of the most important things you can do to support your family member during college is to talk with them about their career planning process. Support them in listening to their thoughts and ideas. College is a time for exploration, don't worry if your student has new ideas daily! This is a part of the exploration process. The best support is to be an active listener, keeping an open mind and giving suggestions on how they can find more information or resources. Our Family Member Checklist will help you throughout the career planning process and will help you be a positive supporter of your family member's future.
It is also important that you educate yourself on the changing nature of the workforce. Check out our Resources of Parents and Family Members section to find useful articles and books on how you can serve as a resource and supporter to your family member.
Encourage your family member to attend XPD events and to make an appointment with a Career Coach. We offer individual appointments, assessment testing, and many workshops and sessions for all students. Check out our Calendar of Events to see what's happening!
Liberal arts graduates are attractive to employers because they possess the skills necessary to adapt in an ever-changing workforce. Employers look for graduates with the right skills rather than the right major. Having your son/daughter know what transferable skills they possess is the key to success. There are also steps your child can take to make them more marketable: having a minor, elective courses, work experience, internships, volunteer positions, and extracurricular involvement. A liberal arts education is education for life--it focuses on questions important to the human condition, demands clear thinking and communicating, and calls forth new knowledge for the betterment of humankind.