KEYS TO SUCCESS
Stay on track, step into different opportunities, and begin to gear up and plan for your senior year and beyond! Discuss these with your students and help them prepare, you are the support system they trust and look towards for guidance.
Staying on Track
- Stay focused on your academic goals; get to know your department faculty and keep on track by continuing to meet with your academic advisor or stop by the Advising Assistance Center to check out your degree evaluation.
- Continue to go to your classes regularly, and ask for help when needed! Use the tutoring services provided by the Academic Support Center, they can help you in almost all subjects.
Stepping into Opportunities
- Explore options to learn and Study Abroad. Seek out opportunities to study outside the country with study abroad, sign up for local service-learning opportunities through Alternative Spring Break (ASB), and more!
- Earn credits and expand your resume while gaining meaningful professional experience through internships or externships or even as a research assistant. Find these opportunities through discussion with your advisors, faculty, staff, or in Career Services.
- Challenge yourself and hone your leadership skills. Become an officer in a student organization, run for the Student Government Association, or even apply to join Program Board!
Gearing up for Senior Year & Beyond
- Stay involved in campus activities and plan for the best year yet!
- Continue to connect with peers and professionals to build and expand upon your network. This is a good time for students to create or update their professional social media accounts (ex. LinkedIn)
- Consider continuing your education and research timelines and requirements for graduate or professional school applications. Take admission prep courses and tests to review for the MCAT, LSAT, GMAT, or GRE, if appropriate.
TIPS FOR FAMILIES
DECISIONS, DECISIONS, DECISIONS!
Major decisions are being made- the first two years are over and students begin to feel excited and nervous about their future. They may want to explore job possibilities or step outside their comfort zone and try a new elective. Throughout this year of exploration, it’s important that students continue to stay on track for graduation. Encourage your student to meet with their advisor to discuss graduation plans and make sure they have all the classes needed. Third-year college students are surprised to find they are running short on credits and need to make sure they are on the right track. Students need to take the initiative of their own future and take advantage of opportunities that can serve them in life after Shepherd.
Students in their third year need to start applying for spring and/or summer internships. They can even be participating in clubs and organizations where they can test out their leadership skills. Students need to begin working on their resumes in preparation for their final year ahead and add all the activities and opportunities they participated in during the years. Students should begin to think about their future by starting to research career opportunities or graduate school options and begin to plan for the transitional stage of senior year. Career Services is a great place to begin that next step!
WHAT CAN STUDENT SUPPORT SYSTEMS DO?
Your student has a lot of decisions to make about their future and some of their friends may be graduating. Their professors may be harder on them and may expect more out of their students. This means no more reminders for deadlines, exams, or extensions. Students are often enrolling in more rigorous and specialized courses and perhaps exploring ideas for their Senior Capstone project. It may be a stressful time for your student, listening to them vent is all they may need.
The third year is an opportunity for parents to help propel students out of their comfort zones and encourage them to explore and reach higher. Parents can provide guidance and share their own experiences in beginning the job search and/or graduate school application process, and help students begin this transitional phase of their lives. Opportunities are out there, and this is a great time for students to think about their life after college.
This is the year that students will need to gain experience in a field of their interest. Internships, research assistantships, student teaching, and other valuable experiences will often lead to employment after graduation! Here are a few suggestions to move towards that goal on the four-year career plan!
- Stop by Career Services in the lower level of the Scarborough Library for additional assistance
- Gain practical experience through internships/externships, research, student activities, and volunteer work
- Schedule mock interviews to prepare yourself
- Go to CareerFest to network with employers
- Update your resume and cover letter(s) and have them critiqued (for more information and a resume template, click here.)
- Practice your 30-second “elevator speech” for employers
- For potential graduate students: Familiarize yourself with graduate or professional school admissions procedures. Research which schools could help you in your respective field (Shepherd even has some Graduate Studies Programs!) Develop relationships with faculty who could serve as references.