How to Support Your Student

One of the best ways to support your student is to let them progress with their personal career development in their own way. Too much pressure, or demands to proceed in a certain direction, may have unintended consequences. While it is appropriate to set expectations, students need to determine the specifics of their own goals. Encourage your student to follow their dreams and work with us to build their future! What looks like indecision can be viewed as a chance for your student to explore and grow.

There is nothing wrong with encouragement and sharing information. As you discover resources on these pages, you may want to drop a well-timed hint or send a quick email with a link to what you feel is relevant to your student’s situation. You may also want to start now to connect your student to people you know in his/her chosen field for informational interviews and networking purposes. Sharing your personal stories of career decision-making and job hunting can provide perspective.

Encouragement from you regarding keeping grades up, developing relationships with faculty/advisors, utilizing campus resources, getting experience in his/her field via a part-time job or internship or volunteering to develop all-important transferable skills is important.

Your Student’s Career Development

Each student’s personal career development takes place in a slightly different way and on their own individual time table, but each student should ideally start sooner rather than later with the process of exploring who they are, discovering possible career matches, and developing and implementing a plan that will allow them to obtain their career goals. The links below offer information that can assist you in identifying what students should be doing to ensure they are building their future during their time at UMBC:

During their FIRST year, your student should…

  • Log-in to their Handshake account to update their profile and search for jobs
  • Identify personal interests, abilities and values by taking one of our assessments – FOCUS2, and/or MBTI
  • Explore majors and related career paths with a career advisor
  • Meet regularly with their academic advisor to discuss academic and career goals
  • Ensure AP exam results and official transcripts from prior institutions have been received by UMBC and credit has been accurately applied
  • Concentrate on their studies and earning good grades
  • Get involved with a campus club or organization that interests them
  • Attend career exploration series and other career development events
  • Plan early for career-related summer work

As a SOPHOMORE, they should…

  • Begin writing their resume
  • Identify interesting occupations and begin to conduct informational interviews
  • Declare a major and figure out what they want to do with it
  • Search for internship and job shadowing opportunities in Handshake
  • Apply for meaningful summer experiences, including internships and co-ops
  • Volunteer!
  • Take on leadership roles within their favorite club or organization
  • Get to know professors within their major or field of interest
  • Continue to meet with their academic advisor to make sure they are on track
  • Meet with a career advisor to begin developing a career plan
  • Explore study abroad opportunities and plan for an international experience next year
  • Identify personal interests, abilities and values by taking one of our assessments – FOCUS, MBTI
  • Learn about graduate school opportunities
  • Attend events sponsored by Career Center
  • Network with their peers for future opportunities

During their JUNIOR year, they should…

  • Discuss career plans with a career advisor to ensure they are on the right track
  • Expand their network and explore Handshake for events that will connect them to employers and UMBC alumni
  • Refine their resume to include all of their college experiences
  • Complete an internship
  • Attend events sponsored by The Career Center
  • Complete a mock interview with a career advisor
  • Join a professional organization in their field of study
  • Continue to explore personal interests, abilities and values by utilizing the resources on the Career Center’s website
  • Continue taking on leadership positions at UMBC
  • Continue to meet with their academic advisor to make sure they are on track
  • Begin preparing for graduate school admission tests

As a SENIOR, your student should….

  • Attend Senior Success Seminar early in the fall semester
  • Work with a career advisor to polish their resume and other job search and graduate school documents
  • Research graduate and professional schools and take the appropriate admission tests
  • Consult with an academic advisor to confirm that they will meet all degree requirements
  • Seek employment by participating in career fairs, on-campus interviews, UMBC Connects, and employer information sessions
  • Utilize Handshake for job postings and networking contacts
  • Participate in practice (mock) interviews
  • Attend programs sponsored by the Career Center
  • Research industries and companies using resources on the Career Center’s website