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Michelle Brenner: What Comes Next for Your Student?

The transition from college to career requires preparation and effort

Now more than ever it’s essential for our children to find quality employment after college graduation.

According to Barron’s Financial Weekly, college tuition is up some 300 percent since 1990 and student loan debt has exploded. So, if your child wants to pay their student loan bill and still be able to eat, they need to start the job hunting process early in their college experience.

Getting a great job after school requires at least as much preparation and effort as it did for your child to get into the college or university they are attending. That’s why it so important for students to take advantage of programs offered specifically to college students while they’re enrolled. It’s clear that volunteering, internships and part-time jobs held during college often lead to the best full-time positions after graduation.

A great place to start is at the school’s career center. Career centers provide a multitude of resources ranging from identifying interests and skills to writing resumes and mock interviews. Many schools now have excellent relationships with organizations that have well-established internship programs and work with employers that frequently hire graduates directly through their career center.

If your child is just about to graduate and is just beginning the career search, don’t despair! It’s still worth a trip to the school’s career center, and if they’re still wondering, “What do I want to do when I grow up?” there are more options than you may think. Just as many families use college consultants or “school finders” to help their child get into the college of their choice, career consultants can help them make a successful transition from college into a career of their choice. Career counselors help create a unique plan for identifying and implementing an effective career and job search strategy.

A quality career consultant provides the guidance, structure and accountability that can accelerate and significantly enhance the probability of finding a job that’s a great match. Counselors help clients develop strategic action plans that serve as a foundation for reaching their career goals in a way that achieves personal satisfaction and financial stability.

So whether your child is in the class of 2012 or 2015, now is the time for them to take the next step into a bright future.

— Michelle Brenner has a master’s degree in career counseling and professional development. She lives with her family in Santa Barbara and can be contacted at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 805.689.9685. Click here for more information.

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