A parent's role

Your student will be like no other student in his or her search for career direction. Whether your son or daughter is undecided in his or her major or is a graduating senior without a clear idea about what comes next, you play an important role.

Your student may look to you for guidance when it comes to choosing a major or career path. Don't pretend to have all of the answers; encourage your student to use the resources available, like those in the career center. Be patient with your student, but also encourage him or her to work in steps to reach a decision he or she can feel confident about. It isn't likely that a magic answer will appear out of a hat; remind your student that there is research to be done, informational interviews to conduct and introductory classes to take.

According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, nearly 50 percent of all students coming to college with a major in mind will change their major over the course of four years.

It makes sense. As your student learns more about his or her interests, skills and passions and as he or she develops throughout the college experience, your student's career ideas and goals may change. As a parent, work to support your child s exploration in this area.

Be a different voice than what your child may hear from our culture; help your child to know that his or her identity is much more than a job title. From our end and yours, perhaps we can help your student recognize his or her strengths, gifts, talents and interests to find a career path that is the right fit, in his or her own time.

And, the liberal arts education your child will receive at Bluffton will prepare him or her for more than just a job, but for vocation throughout his or her lifetime. 

Contact the director with any questions you may have.

The Center for Career and Vocation's role

As you help your student discern his or her career goals, it is helpful for you to understand our role in this process. As part of the student life office on campus, we:

  • challenge students while also providing support.
  • encourage them to work to explore their identity and pursue their purpose.
  • remain available for them during office hours and beyond.
  • build and maintain relationships with area employers and alumni.
  • serve Bluffton alumni for a lifetime.
  • provide workshops and training in group and individual settings on topics, such as:
    • resume and cover letter development and critique.
    • application do's and don'ts (job, internship, graduate school).
    • deciding a major.
    • conducting self-assessments, computer and paper-based.
    • preparing a job search plan and timeline.
    • networking.
    • professional etiquette (from dining to dress).
    • interview preparation and mock interviews.
    • researching graduate programs, assistantships, fellowships and service opportunities.
    • and more!

The National Association of Colleges and Employers encourages students to: Develop a habit of stopping by the career services office on a regular basis. You need to check in a few times your freshman year, more often during your sophomore year, frequently during your junior year, and weekly during your senior year!

Choosing a major

The Center for Career and Vocation provides steps to help students decide on a major or career goal. You may walk through this list with your student, or check in from time-to-time on their progress.