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Is it too Early for my First-Year Student to Start Thinking about a Career?

The time has arrived when your son or daughter has headed out of your door and into the door of their first dorm room. This experience is often nerve-wracking not only for your student, but for you as a parent as well. Your student’s first few weeks of college will probably be strange and sometimes difficult for them. Most students cannot even begin to imagine what college will be like before they start because none of the experiences they have had thus far are comparable. Even though it seems impossible to some, your student will soon find themselves at home at Carnegie Mellon. They will find numerous orientations, fairs, and clubs that will pique their interest and help them to integrate into the community. Along with getting to know their new school and making friends, students should also start thinking about what they want to get out of their time at CMU.

It’s common during the first year of college for your students to be spending their time thinking about homework and friends, instead of resumes and the career they want to have four years from now. To them, four years seems like forever, and they’ll have plenty of time to get that all figured out, right? Unfortunately, just like the summer months that often pass by too quickly, your children will find that their college career is gone in a flash.

Visiting the Career and Professional Development Center (CPDC) during their first year at college is one of the best things your student can do for themselves to get started on the right career path. Getting started early with their career exploration, while they have slightly more free-time, will make all of the difference later when they start applying for internships and jobs. Instead of frantically trying to write a resume, find an internship, and land that internship on top of all their junior or senior level work, they will already have an idea of what career they want to pursue, have a resume ready for distribution, and practice with interviewing skills under their belt.

The CPDC consultants are excellent resources who can help new students get on their feet when they first come to CMU. Your students have the ability to schedule appointments with them to discuss the different aspects of career exploration. During these appointments, our consultants are able to discuss and analyze students’ skills and help guide them toward careers that are a good fit for their talents and interests.

Working here now, and seeing what the career consultants can do, I often wish that I had utilized this service during my own college years. I spent most of my four years feeling confused about what I wanted to do and simply going with a major that made the most sense to me at the time. I feel that I would have left college much more secure in the career path I had chosen if I had taken the time to meet with the career experts at my school.

The Career and Professional Development Center is here to help you students work through the confusion, with our consultants as their allies, guiding them toward the right path on their own personal career journey. Students that start visiting the CPDC during their first year, have that much longer to work with our consultants, have their skills analyzed, and have discussions about what careers might be right for them.

Encourage your student to take their time getting settled into their new environment. We want them to know their way around campus, make some friends, and get the hang of creating their own schedules without feeling overwhelmed.  We want our students to succeed and want to do whatever we can to make their success a possibility. When your student is ready to tackle something else new, we will be here and will be more than happy to meet them!

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