BSC Home  |  BSC Career Center  |  Handshake  |  Engage  |  Employers  |  Parents





Things Every Parent Should Know

About the Campus Career Center


1. There is a difference between a job and a career.  And there is a difference between job hunting and career planning. After four years of college, it is likely you will want your son or daughter to pursue a career instead of just a job.  And it is likely you will not be pleased if they land a job they could have otherwise obtained right out of high school.


2. Your son or daughter needs to be proactive, plan ahead, and begin early establishing a relationship with his or her college career center. A career is too important to be tended to only under desperation circumstances and in a state of panic. It is not wise to solicit help from the career center on short notice. It is not advisable that your son or daughter wait until the last minute to address any component of their career planning or job search process.


3. Career planning is a process, not a one-time act. It is multifaceted and progressive. To be successful in their career pursuit, your son or daughter will need to understand that important things in life take time and require planning. One visit to the career center will not solve all their problems, nor will it equip them with everything they need to be effective in the attainment of their career goals.


4. A degree alone will not guarantee a lucrative career upon graduation. In order to be a serious candidate in today’s competitive job market, your son or daughter will need to extend their education beyond the classroom and expand their experience beyond the degree. Encourage your son or daughter to get involved in extracurricular activities, relevant clubs, and internships that can provide opportunities to gain experience before graduation.


5. The more goal-oriented your son or daughter is, the more likely they are to obtain career success. Once your son  or  daughter  explores  their  range of career options, they should be encouraged to set realistic and attainable career goals. Without some notion of where they want to go and what they want to do, your son or daughter will lack the sense of focus and direction necessary for career success. Choosing their career goal before they choose their academic major is oftentimes more advisable.



6. To ensure they are adequately prepared and fully equipped, your son or daughter will need to take full advantage of the services offered and actively participate in the various programs, events and activities sponsored by the career center. Your son or daughter’s attendance at career workshops, career fairs, information sessions, and other career-related events provides them the tools necessary to effectively manage their career.


7. It is time for your son or daughter to begin thinking and acting like a professional. If they intend to pursue a serious career, it will be necessary for them to devote adequate time and energy to such critical details as professional attire, professional behavior and attitude, etiquette, employer expectations, workplace culture, networking techniques, prospecting techniques, negotiation techniques, job market research methods, job search strategies, interview preparation, and resume writing skills. Too often, young candidates head out into the job market with no training in any of these important areas, and it shows.


8. Your son or daughter will need to take responsibility for their own career planning and job search efforts. It is not the role of the campus career center to find a job for your son or daughter. More often than not, the career center will focus on teaching job search skills rather than actually placing your son or daughter in a job. While many job openings will be posted through the career center, and many interviews will be available through the career center, the majority of opportunities that await your son or daughter will be the ones they discover through the comprehensive career planning and job search process taught by the career center.


Collegiate Parent: Advice and Tips for College Parents
Letting Go: Tips for Parents of College Students
Tips for Parents of College Kids
Advice for Parents of College Freshmen
Advice for College Students: Encourage and Admonish
Coping With College Transition: Guide for Parents

Parents as Partners


You can be proud of raising a son or daughter who is ready to take on new challenges and responsibilities, whether at a campus across the country or down the street. Here are a few pieces of advice we would like to share to help this transition:

1. Realize the academic challenges are much different from high school.

Your student will have to study harder, and more independently. Remind them of the many resources on campus to help them be successful such as tutoring and writing centers. Even students who are strong writers will need help with papers in college.

Remind your student that the syllabus they got on the first day of class will be their friend. Encourage them to make copies of the syllabus from each class so they can keep copies at their desk and also make a binder for their classes with the syllabus as the first page.


2. Understand your student might start college with the goal of being a doctor… and may end their four years with a degree in communication.

Many students change their goals as they go through college. Support your student as they explore opportunities and possibly work through the process of changing their major.

3. Encourage them to get to know their professors.

The professor can be a vital player in the life of your student and, down the road, a reference as your student applies for internships, jobs and perhaps graduate school. They should introduce themselves to the professor, ask questions and take advantage of the office hours professors set aside just to talk to students.

4. Set expectations early.

Discuss what information you want your student to share with you. What do you expect from their grades? Do you want them to have a job during the school year? Review the Student Code of Conduct (found on the college website). Will your student share the tuition statement with you? Having these conversations early can prevent misunderstanding.

5. Talk about communication.

Talking about talking sounds funny, but it’s an important subject to discuss before your student starts college. Will you set up a certain time of the week to check in? Will you text rather than phone?

When you do talk, ask open-ended questions that can’t be answered by “yes” or “no” so they have to share. For example, “What have you enjoyed about the transition from high school to college?”


Collegiate Parent: Advice and Tips for College Parents
Letting Go: Tips for Parents of College Students
Tips for Parents of College Kids
Advice for Parents of College Freshmen
Advice for College Students: Encourage and Admonish
Coping With College Transition: Guide for Parents



Parental Reflections


"There is always a moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in."

-Graham Green


"The greatest gifts you can give your children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence."

-Denis Waitley

"If you would have your children walk honorably through the world, you must not attempt to clear the stones from their path, but teach them to walk firmly over them - not insist upon leading them by the hand, but let them learn to go alone."

-Anne Bronte

"The most important thing that parents can teach their children is how to get along without them."

-Frank A. Clark

"Children have to be educated, but they have also to be left to educate themselves."

-Ernest Dimnet  




Birmingham-Southern College

Box 549010 | Norton Campus Center, Suite 214

Office 205-226-4719 | Appointments 205-226-4717