Concerned about your child developing the skills they need to succeed in the work place?

Worried about your child being able to support themself after graduation?

Wondering how your work place can advertise openings for interns, summer help or recent graduates?

Your child’s long-term professional success depends more on acquiring abilities needed to succeed in a rapidly changing work environment than on selecting a particular undergraduate major.  These skills are learned both within and outside the classroom.  As a parent, you can help to ensure your son or daughter is developing these skills before graduation:

Oral communication and presentation skills

  • Ask to see a PowerPoint presentation your daughter gave in class or as part of an internship
  • Talk to your son about current events at the dinner table; ask him to defend his ideas
  • Introduce your child to the local chapter of Toastmasters or encourage them to join the College Park chapter

Ability to express oneself clearly in writing (including drafting professional emails and using proper business English)

  • Ask to see your daughter’s resume and point out any errors
  • When your son is emailing prospective employers from home, ask what he is writing      

Collaboration with others and successful teamwork

Time management (ability to report to class, meetings and jobs on time, ability to prioritize and meet deadlines)

  • If your child runs late or has trouble meeting deadlines, share with them what tools work for you—a second alarm?  An electronic calendar?

Mastery of basic computer skills (particularly word processing, spreadsheets, using databases, navigating the Internet, designing web pages)

  • Need help with taxes?  Ask your child to format spreadsheets
  • Need to update the website for your volunteer group or home business – ask your daughter to assist
  • Planning a family vacation?  Give your son a budget; have him plot an efficient route and present a spectrum of accommodation and meal options
  • Your Maryland student can learn new skills from home online through LinkedIn Learning for FREE

Understanding organizational needs and awareness of different audiences

  • Talk to your daughter about the issues your employer or small business faces

Analytical and problem-solving skills

  • Talk to your son about the college selection process for a younger sibling – have him formulate a list that fit certain criteria (affordability, distance from home, degrees offered)

Persuasion by gaining consensus and pitching ideas to superiors

  • Ask your child to lead a meeting about resolving a family dilemma

Displaying professional demeanor (dressing appropriately for the setting, using formal forms of address with superiors, being courteous, maintaining a professional online profile)

  • If your son heads off to a summer job and isn’t dressed professionally, ask him what his supervisor wears
  • If your daughter refers to her supervisor by her first name, ask whether she was asked to address her supervisor informally
  • Remind your child to send thank you notes after interviews
  • Search your child’s name online – point out how a prospective employer might view anything that gives you or his or her grandparents pause

Cross-cultural understanding (ability to speak and understand other languages, sensitivity to other cultures and ethnic groups)

  • The University of Maryland offers a wide variety of volunteer opportunities in diverse communities, alternative breaks and study abroad programs
  • If you have family members who speak another language, spending time with them can boost your child’s skills
  • Hosting a foreign visitor can be a great experience for young people (the university asks for volunteers for international student orientation; community groups ask for volunteers to host foreign visitors)

Networking skills

The University of Maryland doesn’t place students in internships.  It does assist your child in finding them.  These are resources you should encourage your child to use:

  • Our BSOS Undergraduate Blog includes internship and scholarship opportunities and more!
  • Careers4Terps is an online database of job and internship listings (over 7,300 last year) for University of Maryland students and alumni

Students may often earn academic credit for internships.

Are you or your employer interested in speaking to a group of students about your field, or hiring a Terp graduate, summer worker or intern? 

  • Careers4Terps allows you to post positions, receive resumes, and select potential candidates who apply for your openings
  • Our University Career Center has 15 interview rooms to accommodate employers wishing to interview UMD students
  • Fairs and Networking Events offer opportunities to recruit a broad spectrum of students or improve your company’s profile among students in our state’s flagship institution
  • If you or your employer would like to post an opening for students from our college or a particular major within our college feel free to contact khopps [at] umd [dot] edu