For Parents & Families
The entire DeSales Career Development Center staff is available to help your student achieve career success.
At the Career Development Center, we specialize in supporting students as they explore their unique personalities, skills, and interests to define and achieve their career goals. Parents and families can help by encouraging their students to schedule individual appointments, attend career development events, and utilize our wealth of resources, including:
- A unique 3-credit elective: Career Development and Planning Course
- Majors and careers exploration guidance
- Resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile development
- A credited internship program
- Advice on exploring and applying to graduate school
- Interview preparation and practice
- Alumni engagement and networking opportunities
Questions parents commonly ask the Career Development Center
My student is interested in “everything” and is having a difficult time choosing a major. What should he/she do?
It’s very normal for students to experience difficulty when it comes to choosing a major. Many DeSales students enjoy and excel at a number of different subjects.
To help students narrow down their options, we encourage them to:
- explore broadly and engage in self-assessment
- take a wide range of classes in their first year to ascertain which they truly enjoy most
- talk with older students and faculty to learn more about the disciplines that interest them the most
- take time to reflect on their values, interests, personality, and skills and gauge how those fit with the subject areas they are studying
- meet with a Career Coach in our office who can show them how to research careers and majors through our Online Resources
- meet with their Academic Advisor to discuss course requirements and curricula
Does choosing a major determine or limit career choices?
We believe that people's majors do not necessarily determine their career paths, because the world of work isn’t broken up by major. Instead, we encourage students to study what they enjoy, examine their values, interests, and personalities, and explore careers related to what they have learned about themselves. DeSales’ alumni from all majors go on to a wide range of career paths.
How can I best assist my student with his/her career development?
The following five strategies provide a helpful framework.
- Career development is a lifelong and unique process and constantly needs revisiting and revising. The world of work is rapidly changing, and one year is different from the next.
- One of the first steps includes helping your student self-evaluate by identifying skills, interests, personality and values in both life and work. Students often meet a career coach to sort through and make sense of all of this information. Students can schedule their appointments online. Furthermore, the executive director of the career center teaches a Career Development and Planning elective course each spring semester; this course helps students to embrace the process and further assess themselves. It is open to all students/all years.
- Once your student has self-knowledge, we encourage exploring various careers by:
- Conducting Informational interviews with alumni and people in the area of career interest(s)
- Finding Internships within a specific field
- Networking at career fairs, employer information sessions, sporting games - the possibilities are endless
- When your student is thinking about pursuing a specific career within a particular industry, our career center team has industry specialists designated to help. We highly recommended your student schedules an appointment with a career center staff member.
- It is important to remember that it is the responsibility of each student to take charge of their own career.
What attributes do employers look for?
NACE (National Association for Colleges and Employers) conducts research surveys of employers to seek the top attributes in candidates. Industry wide, the top 8 competencies include:
Critical Thinking: Exercise sound reasoning to analyze issues, make decisions, and overcome problems. The individual is able to obtain, interpret, and use knowledge, facts, and data in this process, and may demonstrate originality and inventiveness.
Communication: Articulate thoughts and ideas clearly and effectively in written and oral forms to persons inside and outside of the organization. The individual has public speaking skills; is able to express ideas to others; and can write/edit memos, letters, and complex technical reports clearly and effectively.
Teamwork: Build collaborative relationships with colleagues and customers representing diverse cultures, races, ages, genders, religions, lifestyles, and viewpoints. The individual is able to work within a team structure, and can negotiate and manage conflict.
Technology: Leverage existing digital technologies ethically and efficiently to solve problems, complete tasks, and accomplish goals. The individual demonstrates effective adaptability to new and emerging technologies.
Leadership: Leverage the strengths of others to achieve common goals, and use interpersonal skills to coach and develop others. The individual is able to assess and manage his/her emotions and those of others; use empathetic skills to guide and motivate; and organize, prioritize, and delegate work.
Professionalism: Demonstrate personal accountability and effective work habits, e.g., punctuality, working productively with others, and time workload management, and understand the impact of non-verbal communication on professional work image. The individual demonstrates integrity and ethical behavior, acts responsibly with the interests of the larger community in mind, and is able to learn from his/her mistakes.
Career and Self Development: Identify and articulate one's skills, strengths, knowledge, and experiences relevant to the position desired and career goals, and identify areas necessary for professional growth. The individual is able to navigate and explore job options, understands and can take the steps necessary to pursue opportunities, and understands how to self-advocate for opportunities in the workplace.
Equity and Inclusion: Value, respect, and learn from diverse cultures, races, ages, genders, sexual orientations, and religions. The individual demonstrates openness, inclusiveness, sensitivity, and the ability to interact respectfully with all people and understand individuals’ differences.
When should my student start visiting the Career Development Center?
We encourage students to visit the center early and often throughout their entire college journey. It is never too early! Our Four Year Career Development Plan can serve as a great guide.
Can my student take a career “test” to figure out what they want to do?
We offer assessments that can aid students in the career discernment process, but there is no "magic test” that will tell someone exactly what they should do. We recommend that students begin with our Focus2 assessment, which evaluates values, interests, personality, and skills. After a student completes this assessment they are encouraged to schedule a follow up appointment with a staff member to review their results.
Do you provide student “placement" services?The DeSales Career Development Center does not conduct “placement” for students. After all, it is the student who is networking, writing their own resume, applying to positions, and conducting their own interviews. We help students develop these necessary skills but it truly is their achievements and accomplishments in the end. We are here to help them learn these skills to succeed in whatever path they choose to pursue.
Can my student network with DeSales alumni?Yes! The Career Development Center offers many opportunities to connect with alumni through formal mentorship programs, on-campus networking events, and informational interviews. We can also help your student build an impactful LinkedIn profile and navigate the alumni directory - DSU Mentor. We also have an athlete specific alumni mentor list called Bulldogs Coaching Bulldogs.
Should my student have an internship after his/her first year?
We strongly encourage students to do something to gain experience, whether it’s a regular summer job (i.e., retail, life-guarding, customer service, administrative office roles, etc.), research, study abroad, service, or an internship.
These activities will allow students to learn more about themselves, gain professional experience, and build their resumes — all critical pieces of career development!
If your student has any questions about internships, they should contact our office.
What resources do you offer to help students with finding jobs and internships?
We offer two primary avenues: Handshake and our plethora of other online resources.
Handshake is our online recruiting database with postings for both internship and full-time opportunities. This resource is available to DeSales’ students and alumni only.
We also have a robust offering of additional tools through the Career Resources & Support webpage. Here, students can access numerous databases for career exploration, job/internship searching, company research, salary information, and current industry/organization issues.
We also encourage students to network and utilize the strong DeSales’ alumni connections through DSU Mentor.
What types of employers recruit at DeSales?
Every year employers representing several industries/organizations and job functions (for-profit, nonprofit, fellowship, and research) either conduct on-campus interviews or post jobs on Handshake, our career management system.
How do I (or my student) learn about upcoming career events?
A multitude of different ways! Students will receive emails from us with upcoming events. Additionally you and your student can see what’s coming up on Engage, our digital student life hub. Students can find the same information on Handshake.
What is Handshake?
Handshake is a web-based career management platform. All students have access to log into the site via their DeSales email account.
Upcoming Career Events
My experience has given me a much greater appreciation for DeSales, especially for everyone who has helped me to get where I am today.