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From High School to College: Tips for the Road Forward

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Working with many students, particularly freshmen, reminds me of conversations I would like to have with teachers about their work with students in helping them to discover their majors and career paths.

Students in high school need to know what a resume is and try to create one.

  • When they get to college, they will already be in the mode of how to create one. It is a powerful experience to see your work on paper and this goes for students, too. It will help them as they move forward to review what they have done in high school and what they might like to do in college.

Tell students about the difference between a college academic advisor and a career counselor.

  • This can aid the student in knowing who can help them on their career path.

Sponsor Career Days.

  • Invite professionals from different fields including your local Career Center to talk about work tasks and their professional journeys.

Remind students that unlike high school, you need to ask for what you need in college.

  • There are many resources available, too!

Encourage Involvement.

  • Students begin this mindset in high school which much continues in college. Career Centers spend a lot of time encouraging students to get involved outsideof the classroom. This can be through internships, clubs on campus, jobs and volunteer experiences. Recruiters tell us that while good grades are important, so is involvement outside of the classroom. Employers want to hire a well-rounded student.

Discuss dress and hygiene.

  • While this may happen in middle school in health class, it's important that there are reminders in high school. If the student wants to get an internship and/or job and succeed, they must be mindful of their dress. This includes hiding all tattoos and body piercings.

Discuss personal branding.

  • This includes Facebook and Twitter and other aspects of social media. What they put out on the internet does matter to colleges and employers. It is also important that a student knows how to shake a hand and maintain eye contact.

Students can and do arrive on campus undecided about their major and career path. Helping students to make decisions and offer resources will help them to ease into their transition from high school to college. Career Centers are waiting to meet students to offer them the help on their journey that you began with them. Please encourage them to see us!

Clare Tauriello

Director, Career Center

Mount St. Mary's University (Maryland)

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