Parents & Family

What can I do as a family member?

Family plays a critical role in supporting students in their college experience and preparing them to make decisions about their future. As a family member, you can help your student with career readiness through the following steps, intended to carry a student from first-year to post-grad:

  • Self-Awareness
    • Understand yourself - identify interests, values, and skills
    • Establish a foundation of what is unique about YOU!
    • Communicate your strengths to others to share what you bring to the table
  • Career Awareness
    • Explore potential career paths that align with interests, values, and skills
    • Take introductory courses in various departments
    • Keep in mind that Major ≠ Career, a liberal arts degree is valuable no matter what you decide to pursue as a career!
  • Personal Branding
    • Create and continually update a "master" resume listing any and all experiences, no matter how small!
    • Make LinkedIn/Handshake profiles, keep them up-to-date, and stay connected
    • Develop a professional introduction AKA "elevator pitch" as a 60-second snapshot of your skills
  • Networking
    • Take advantage of IWU's Titan Alumni Network
    • Participate in informational interviews and job shadowing
    • Attend conferences/conventions in relevant career fields
    • Establish professional relationships with faculty & staff
  • Interview Skills
    • Practice interview skills in the mirror or via video recording
    • Receive feedback to improve through our practice interview program
    • Conduct formal conversations with employers
    • Identify skills needed for a position and highlight them through responses
  • Professional Literacy
    • Encourage academic achievement and campus involvement
    • Seek internships and other job opportunities
    • Serve the community through volunteering
    • Communicate professionally through emails and phone calls
    • Develop public speaking and writing skills
  • Leadership in Life
    • Establish integrity through the development of character
    • Reflect on college and professional experiences to inform life decisions
    • Manage priorities and finances
    • Build a community of support through mentorship

What should my student be doing?

To put it simply, visit the The Hart Career Center early and often! We offer a variety of services and programs for students to jump-start their career readiness. Here are some essential categories of career preparation that the Hart Career Center can help with:

  • Exploration: we offer assessments that help you understand your interests, skills, and values and aligns them with a major or potential job to assist with your exploration of careers!
  • Internships: many IWU students intern part-time locally during the Fall/Spring Semester or travel to intern full-time during May Term and Summer. With the pandemic, we have seen an increase in remote internships as well. Gain real professional experience and get a taste of what it is like to work in your industry of interest!
  • Job Search: Don't know where to begin? The Hart Career Center has tools for the job search and job application process, as well as career advisors who are here to help students achieve success!
  • Graduate/Professional School: Not sure if additional education is the right choice for you? Our career advisors would be happy to listen to your career goals and help you choose the best path. We also have resources to assist in the grad school search and application process!
  • and more!

Take advantage of the variety of services we offer to students to achieve success from college to career:

  • Appointments: receive individualized help from a career advisor by meeting with them one-on-one! Schedule an appointment to get started with any career-related topic.
  • Email/Drop-In: create/update your resume easily by emailing it to us for review! Every Wednesday we also offer drop-in hours to get quick help from a career ambassador.
  • Events: attend any of the events hosted by the Hart Career Center for professional development targeted at college students. Our events in alumni speakers from your major or field, workshops to gain skills for writing a resume or cover letter and for succeeding in interviews, and more.
  • Career Fairs: meet recruiters from a variety of organizations at fairs! Fairs can include employers hiring for internships & full-time jobs, representatives from graduate & professional schools, and more.
  • Signature Programs: the Hart Career Center currently has two signature programs: the Career Immersion Excursion (a career exploration trip over spring break to visit a U.S. city to learn more about careers) and Freeman Asia (an internship opportunity for students to go abroad during the summer and complete projects)
  • and more!