March 1-7, 2002
Back Issues
Budget: Where U.Va. stands
Budget Q&A -- First in a series
Disaster drill prepares local personnel for real emergencies
A message from Tony Motto, Energy Program manager

U.Va. planning future of Morven Farm, seeks guidance from community

Dave Matthews buys five Kluge farms
Monticello’s visitors boost local economy, study finds
Career Services builds new bridges to jobs for students
Students seek alternative job choices in tough times
A return to the nest? Parents getting involved in job searches
Basic research, collegiality on laureate’s agenda
In Memoriam
Hot Links -- Health System Web site
African clothing, past and present
Planning your retirement income

A return to the nest? Parents getting involved in job searches

For the Class of 2000, career opportunities seemed limitless. What a difference two years makes.

As the glory days of "dot-coms" fade into the past and an economic slowdown chills job hopes in the near future, many college students are nervous — and so are their parents.

A recent national survey conducted by the Collegiate Employment Research Institute at Michigan State University found that this year’s graduates can expect a 6 percent to 13 percent decrease in job opportunities, compared with last year. The tight job market has pressured college students to start thinking about careers sooner than ever before and fueled a national trend of parents taking an active role in their children’s job hunts, according to career counselors at the University of Virginia.

"We see the appropriate parental role as being one of giving children both roots and wings," said Elly Tucker, career resources manager at the University Career Services Office. "But the roots seem to be easier and more natural for some parents than the wings."

A liberal arts education used to be valued for giving undergraduates a broad understanding of diverse subjects and an ability to think creatively, but in the current economy, students — often feeling pressure from their parents — want to land immediately on a career path, Tucker said. University Career Services is trying to help.

"We are especially reaching out to liberal arts students to help them capitalize on the analytical and communications skills that employers value," she said.

Along with providing semester-long internship opportunities for fourth-year undergraduates, the Career Services Office is helping younger students investigate careers through externships that offer one-week placements in a variety of fields around the country. The office also encourages younger students to participate in extracurricular activities, which can help them identify interests and provide resume-building leadership opportunities.

Parents can play a large role in a child’s job search by offering support and helping their children meet friends and contacts for informational interviewing, Tucker said. And Career Services will continue to do all that it can to help students. But ultimately, it’s the student’s life and the student’s responsibility, and the office tries to stress that with students and their parents, she said.


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