As a successful adult you know the importance of working in a field that fits your skills and interests. Young people can take so many different paths to choose a college major and career the process can seem overwhelming. Helping your Scholar understand what being a pediatric surgeon or a civil engineer is really like can confirm their interests or provide a needed reality check.
Either way having a more informed plan for college can help students stay focused on their goals. Perhaps more importantly for our students with high financial need, it is imperative that they finish their degree on time. The 21st Century Scholarship provides assistance for up to eight semesters of full-time tuition – but no more! Changing majors too late in the game can mean more student loans.
One of the best ways to ensure that your Scholar knows what they want to do is to take advantage of services like Career Cruising early on. Freshman year your Scholar can start to identify different fields to explore further, and reevaluate each year. The junior year Assessment Debriefing will also help guide your Scholar towards careers that they not only love, but ones in which they can succeed.
However, you don't have to wait until junior year to start exposing your Scholar to real-life working situations. Setting up a day-long job shadow is a great way to turn abstract career ideas into realistic goals (remember that Mentor Tip?). See who your contacts are and if any of them would be willing to allow you and your Scholar to explore their workplace for a day (and remember, your fellow Mentors are also your contacts!). School breaks are a great time to do these, and Starfish can help! While we can't offer you the one-on-one experience of a true job shadow, we do have fantastic Workplace Encounters where a group of Scholars can speak to currently practicing professionals in a variety of fields, either at their workplace, or at Starfish offices. Each encounter is different, so be sure to check back frequently for more information.