It is my experience that whilst a supportive network of friends, family and faculty staff can make university life easier for the individual student, the grades that each undergraduate achieves are directly related to the amount of effort that they are willing to put in to course work and examinations. This does not, however, mean that professors and parents do not have an important role to play but it is what happens after the graduation ceremony that will be most affected by their help, or lack thereof.
Whether you are a parent, a university lecturer, or indeed a student, the following tips should help you to understand more clearly how the future success of an undergraduate can be shaped by the help and advice they receive both during their time at university and immediately afterwards when they are busy searching for their first job.
1. Sharing personal experiences – many parents make the mistake of dismissing their own life experiences when discussing career options with their offspring, for various reasons. Sometimes it is because they feel that their children can do better than them and sometimes it is just because they feel that their own first steps on the career ladder are no longer relevant in today’s world. Whatever the reason may be, it is probably not true. Even if a parent only has a tale of woe to share with their child, it may still contain valuable lessons that help that child to avoid making similar mistakes as they leave full-time education and start to think about what they would like to do for the rest of their life.
2. Thinking outside of the box – one way in which it is inadvisable for parents, or professors for that matter, to use their own experiences is in trying to convince a student that their plans for the future are unrealistic or that the goals they are shooting for are unobtainable. Whether as an adult you consider yourself to be a resounding success or an abject failure, always remember that each individual has the potential to do great things and should be allowed to aim as high as they want. Nobody looks forward to consoling a heartbroken child when they realise that they are not going to be able to achieve one or more of their life goals but it is far better than having to contend with a student who will never know if they could have succeeded in reaching for the stars because they never even tried. People may surprises you so never try to place your own limits on them.
3. Finding useful resources – one thing that has almost certainly changed since today’s professors and parents were looking for their very first job is the ways in which job hunts are best approached. The majority of graduates will use the Internet to look for work and advice on which occupations may be most suitable and as parents and faculty staff, we can help to identify the most useful resources for students to use. Websites such as Career Savvy, which feature articles on a variety of issues that new graduates may encounter when looking for their first job, are just as useful as those that simply list current vacancies, and may help students to conduct their searches in a more efficient manner so are well worth bookmarking. Recruitment sites that specialise in areas of interest to individual students are of course very helpful too.
4. Financial backing – whilst this would be an inappropriate form of help for university staff to offer, except in a professional capacity with regard to grants and bursaries, parents that want to ensure their children have the greatest chance of succeeding in realising their dreams often need to be ready to offer something more concrete than motivational speeches and shared experiences. If you really want your son or daughter to prosper, you may need to fund further studies after he or she graduates.
If students are willing to work hard and keep one eye firmly on the future throughout their university days there is no telling what they may achieve once they graduate, especially with a supporting cast of knowledgeable professors and understanding parents ready to help.
About our guest contributor: Chloe Lovette is a professional writer with experience in both blogging and editing. She likes to write articles about a wide range of topics and is highly interested in doing guest posts for different sites.
Thank you Chloe for your valuable contribution: The Role of Parents and Professors in Ensuring the Success of Students
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