A special note to Lehigh parents who want to support their students through career exploration, internships and career preparations. Sent from your friends in the Career Center.
Listen, then motivate and encourage
When your student calls or texts to discuss their career goals, we encourage you to listen and address their feelings and thoughts. We also want you to empower students to take their own steps in tackling career goals. Help them prioritize their responsibilities and daily schedule, direct them to campus resources, share helpful links (below) and encourage them to take the next steps on their own.
Ask open ended questions:
Who on campus can you talk to for help with that?
Can you outline the rest of your week so you can find time to work on that?
Which of the alumni on Lehigh Connects do you think you could reach out to?
What questions can you take to Career Lab?
What Career Center online resources have you used to learn more about this topic?
Send them with a suit
Each semester we host a Career Expo, invite employers to host interviews on campus and offer networking events for students. For these reasons and many others, we suggest students pack professional attire, which includes a suit and professional shoes. Students who need to shop for these items are welcome to participate in the “Suit Up” event at JCPenney which offers a one day sale of 40% off professional attire purchases during an exclusive after hours event.
Information on all career events, including the Career Expo and Suit Up, are available on the Events tab on Handshake (student sign in only).
Help them shape their career goals
Starting with first year students and continuing with all other class years, we want all students to identify their own career goals and paths. Encourage your student to shape those goals based on their interests, values and skills. It’s helpful to think about this process as a cycle (that may be repeated), not a linear line.
Start a conversation on career goal setting:
What skills could you add to your resume this semester?
Do you have any areas you want to improve on your LinkedIn profile?
When should you start applying to summer internships?
Have you had anyone in your industry look over your cover letter?
Would you be interested in job shadowing during winter/spring/fall break?
Have any of your friends found an interesting job during the semester?
Which of your professors have research projects that you find interesting?
Celebrate small wins
The career process can feel daunting, with plenty of steps to complete along the journey. Don’t wait until your student has a job/internship offer to celebrate. There are many steps a student can take that deserve recognition and your support will go a long way in helping them feel like they are reaching goals. An internship or job search can take 3-9 months, noting some of the milestones along the way can positively impact motivation!
Here are 10 wins to celebrate with your student:
Visiting the Career Center during Career Lab (Mon-Fri, 10 am - 3 pm in Maginnes Suite 500)
Completed resume edits (resume is ready to send to employers)
Updated LinkedIn profile
Completing a Handshake profile
Well written cover letter
Getting a professional headshot taken (offered for free on campus each semester)
Communicating with a Lehigh alumn (informational interview) in an industry of interest
Organizing a digital portfolio/website
Confirming 3 individuals who will serve as references
Purchasing professional attire including a suit, shoes, portfolio, etc.
Refer them to the experts
The Center for Career & Professional Development is staffed with highly trained career professionals ready to serve the Lehigh students. Encourage your student to get help during Career Lab Monday - Friday, 10 am - 3pm in Maginnes Hall, Suite 500. We also provide Career Workshops and 1-on-1 appointments as other ways to get assistance.
The Lehigh alumni network is a great resource for a student to get help from an industry expert. Lehigh Connects, a network of over 2,000 alumni who volunteer to support students with professional development, is a great place for students to ask questions and get help. Through Lehigh Connects students can use filters to identify profiles of interest, review professional and educational details, send messages and set-up meetings with alumni in a job, industry or company of interest.
Need more information on career resources for your student?
Meet the Career Coaches, who serve distinct populations at Lehigh University
Contact the Career Center at firstname.lastname@example.org, 610 758 3710