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The importance of career counselling.

As a parent of a first year student, you are likely excited about this new experience your student is embarking on. You may also have some questions and concerns regarding what services are available to help them with their career and employment planning.

You are very influential in your student’s life and have a much greater impact than you may realize when it comes to their career planning and choices. It is important for you to talk to them about careers, and to be supportive of their choices.

Please encourage them to take advantage of the many services we offer to help them with career decision-making and job searching. These include:         

  • Career Counselling
  • Interest Testing
  • Mock Interviews
  • Mentoring Program
  • Job Searching Assistance
  • Resume/Cover Letter Critiques
  • Co-Curricular Recognition Program
  • Online Job Postings
  • Career Fairs
  • Career Exploration Resources
  • On-Campus Employment Programs
  • Student Assistant Positions

                  

Frequently Asked Questions

What if my student doesn’t know what to major in at university?

Most first year students are unsure of what to major in. The process of trying out a variety of courses in first year will help many students decide which subjects they are most interested in and can help guide them in their choice of major. In an Arts or Science program, students are required to declare their major before they register for their sixth unit of course work, which is the end of first year for most students.

It is helpful to check in with your student at various times throughout the first year by asking them what their favourite courses are and how they are doing. Encourage them to speak with their Academic Advisor about further course selection and with a Career Counsellor for assistance with decision making.

My student wants to major in History, but will they be able to get a job when she is finished her degree?

University education in the liberal arts, including majors such as History, English, Sociology and Psychology to name a few, are highly transferable to many professions. So although your student may not see job postings specifically asking for History majors, many positions ask for the skills gained through such a degree such as research, writing, problem solving, and analytical skills.

With the broad options open to university graduates, it is important for students to determine how they wish to use their degree in a future career. By paying attention to their likes and dislikes, interests, passions, values, and skills, they can better determine what type of career might be a suitable match for them. Spend time talking with your student about their interests, what is important to them, and mentioning the things that seem to come naturally to them (especially those skills that the student finds  “easy”, as these are most likely a special talent for them).   Also be sure to encourage them to consult our online tip sheets “What can I do with my degree?” for ideas of careers related to their program of study, and to see a Career Counsellor for further assistance.

What can my student expect from career counselling?

Career Counsellors facilitate the career planning process by discussing and taking students through exercises and/or testing that will help them determine how their interests, values, skills, and overall personality might fit with various career options. They may also help students identify strategies for overcoming barriers, recommend ways to do career research, and help students with the job search or further education planning.

Career Counsellors may see students weekly or bi-weekly, and may sometimes assign exercises for homework to be completed and brought to a future session.

A Career Counsellor cannot tell students what career is best for them, however career counselling may help students become better able to make a suitable career decision. Please keep in mind that career counselling is a confidential service and as such, counsellors cannot disclose information to parents.

Is there anything else my student can do to ensure future career success?

Encourage your student to find a balance between course work and extracurricular activities. Employers like to see applicants that demonstrate leadership and team-work abilities. These types of skills can be enhanced by participation in on-campus student societies, sports, volunteer work, and other campus activities. The Mount is proud to offer a Co-Curricular Recognition Program (CCRP), which allows students to document their involvement in non-academic extra-curricular, athletic, leadership, and volunteer activities in an official format.

Career Planning Services organizes various programs and events such as a Volunteer Fair (taking place this year on Sept 30th from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm in the Atrium of our new building, the McCain Centre) and career fairs throughout the year to help students gain experience, and connect them with potential employers. By encouraging them to begin attending these events in first year, they will be better equipped with the knowledge and contacts they need to secure employment with their employer of choice upon graduation. 

To access career related events hosted by the Mount, please click here.