How to Support Your Williams Student Throughout Their Career Preparation:
Encourage your student to visit the ‘68 Center for Career Exploration “early and often”.
A recent survey of Williams graduates correlated early engagement with both increased outcomes and higher satisfaction with those outcomes. Williams offers comprehensive career preparation for all students. Expert, trained Career Advisors are available to help First Years every step of the way from career exploration, internships and major selection to their ultimate job and graduate school applications. First years learn about the ‘68 Center starting during First Days, and we’re excited to meet students at events such as the Purple Key Fair. It’s just as important for students who aren’t sure of their professional interests as those who are to visit the ‘68 Center. Our job is to help students find experiences and build connections. In addition to encouraging your student to make an appointment with the ‘68 Center during their first year, ask them if they have created their profiles on Handshake and EphLink, our two platforms for engagement with employers and alumni, respectively. EphLink is the secret sauce of the ‘68 Center and allows students to directly connect with alumni mentors and experiences, such as internships with Williams connections and job shadowing. Families can also post opportunities for current Ephs in EphLink, so we encourage you to join today!
Understand the importance of internships.
In today’s job market gaining relevant experience is increasingly important. Almost 70% of Williams graduates interned at least once and 28% found their first jobs through an internship. Internships provide students the opportunity to explore different interest areas, augment their academic preparation, and distinguish themselves. Internships also serve to create critical contacts and build networks that are essential when seeking employment upon graduation. Williams offers an Alumni Sponsored Internship Program (ASIP) which funds almost 150 unpaid summer internships. In addition, Winter Study internships (January) are available for credit and offer the opportunity to gain relevant experience across a variety of fields. Encourage your student to work with their Career Advisor to establish an individual internship action plan.
Be supportive, encouraging, and patient as your student explores options.
Career uncertainty is the source of significant stress for students, and much of that anxiety comes from not being exposed to the plethora of job options and not knowing exactly what steps to take to achieve their goals. By meeting with us early and often, students can reflect and update their action plans as their interests and values take shape over their time at Williams. Trying on jobs through internships, alumni conversations, or project-based learning is a low-stakes way for students to explore their many interests and gain confidence. While your student may not know exactly what their ultimate path may be and may not consult you regularly on the career question, they ultimately rely heavily on you once the time comes to make the transition from college to career and we know that students are grateful for that support in exploration and decision-making
Keep your eyes open for opportunities.
We rely on families like you to alert us to unique internship and job opportunities that are a good fit for Williams students. Also, consider creating internship or job opportunities at your organization that Williams students might apply for. Families have the ability to post internships and projects directly in EphLink, so if you are interested in supporting the career exploration of current students through an internship, project, or job, please join EphLink and post the opportunity today!
In summing up:
College is a tremendous time of personal growth and development. By encouraging your student to visit the ’68 Center early and often, develop an internship action plan, and think intentionally about how their co-curricular experiences can support their professional decisions, your student can graduate from Williams having explored, defined, and achieved their postgraduate goals.