Main Parents Page

A 4-Year Guide to Parent Involvement

Before College

  • Go through college information with your student and help sort out what is important to know.
  • Help your student choose the college that is going to best fit his occupational, social, and financial needs.
  • If possible, attend freshman orientation with your student and discuss what you both have learned.

Freshman Year

  • Offer to talk with your student about his career goals and how his interests and skills relate to them
  • Encourage your student to make grades a top priority
  • Encourage your daughter to meet with each of her professors and her academic advisor
  • Talk with your son about organizations or activities that might match his interests
  • Encourage your student to register with Connections and build a resume
  • Encourage your student to find a part-time job during the semester
  • Encourage your daughter to plan early to find a summer job or volunteer experience that may match her career interests

Sophomore Year

  • If your son is undecided about his career choice, encourage him to see a counselor in Career Center.
  • Talk with your daughter about the different career and major choices she is considering and listen to her talk about why they are of interest.
  • Encourage your son to set goals and make choices that are in line with his goals.
  • Help your daughter come up with a list of family friends or relatives that may work in her field of interest to develop networking contacts.
  • Encourage your son to arrange information interviews.
  • Encourage your son to obtain career-related experience over the summer (i.e. internships, co-ops, summer job, etc.).

Junior Year

  • Encourage your daughter to take classes and get involved in activities that will enhance her academics and make her more marketable.
  • If there has been a change in career interests, talk with your son about alternative plans he may be making.
  • Encourage a visit to the Career Center to work with a career counselor.
  • Encourage your daughter to attend MSU Fall and Spring Career Days and any other career fairs on campus that may match her interests.
  • Encourage your son to revisit his "networking" contacts list.
  • Encourage your daughter to obtain career-related experience that matches her career goals.

Senior Year

  • Listen to the fears your daughter is expressing. Ask how you can help her.
  • Encourage your daughter to get assistance with her job search and participate in Campus Interviewing.
  • Direct your son to the Career Center for tips on landing a job offer.
  • Encourage your daughter to attend MSU Fall and Spring Career Days and any other career fairs on campus that may match her interests.
  • Talk with your daughter about any graduate or professional school plans.
  • Listen, be patient and don't worry.

Helpful Tip for Parents:

Empower your student to take control of the job search and reaching out to employers. While a few employers welcome a direct connection to parents, most do not. When a parent calls an employer to find out why the son or daughter didn't get the job, the employer may wonder about the maturity and the student's own ability to manage their responsibilities in the job. If something should open up later, this could reflect on your student and preclude him or her from getting a second opportunity. If anyone should call, it should be the student. You can help them plan the call by engaging in a mock scenario with yourself as the employer.