Tips for Families

As you send your son or daughter off to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, please know that their ultimate success and career satisfaction depend on a careful, systematic exploration of who they are, what they want to do and how they will get there. The time for them to do this exploration is now. Working together, we can help them achieve their career dreams.

Encourage your student to consider the following courses as they build their course schedules

  • EDUC 111: Career Exploration is a one credit hour course designed to introduce first- and second-year students to career development theories and processes, while providing a framework for exploring and discovering their interests and skills. The course integrates interactive tools to support students in taking ownership of academic and career decisions that incorporate their individual needs and aspirations.
  • EDUC 211: Career Planning and Job Searching is a one credit hour course designed for sophomores, juniors and seniors who are preparing to embark on their internship/job search. Students learn how to develop the necessary tools and skills required to execute an effective job search, while understanding and applying theoretical concepts related to strengths, adaptability, and resilience in career development. Outcomes include career documents (resumes and cover letters), branding and social media (LinkedIn profile), and career connections (networking and interviewing).
  • EDUC 311: Life-Career Design is a three-hour course that examines the contemporary research in career development (e.g., career construction, life design). Substantial class time dedicated to encouraging students to consider their own and common assumptions regarding career development (e.g., opportunity structures; strategies in metacognition and heuristics). Students interrogate individual and collective behavior in career development (e.g., happiness, purpose, decision-making, values, experiential learning). The course guides students to integrate their new understanding of design thinking to apply the concepts to life action plans. Students increase self-awareness and self- advocacy to maximize their potential and envision multiple pathways for further education and life-work balance.


An internship is a practical way for your student to spend time connecting what they’ve learned at UNC Chapel Hill to the work world. Many departments offer internship credit-courses that allow students to receive academic credit for getting work experience aligned with their major and career goals. Additionally, students can talk with University Career Services coaches (and any Department-based Career Offices they have access to) to explore our many resources – such as Handshake – that list internship postings from companies year round. Whether the internship is for university credit or no-credit, it is by far the best way for students to build their resume and professional skills. 

An internship allows your student to experience the roles, expectations, and behaviors of the professional world. Students learn about their strengths, interests, problem-solving skills, and gain the ability to work with clients and perform under pressure. Students also gain experience they can note on their resume, and make great networking connections and professional references.

Think about your own connections and how you might facilitate an internship experience for your student and other students at UNC. Please encourage your student to talk with Career Services to find out how an internship can support their post-graduate career goals that could be: 1) full-time employment, 2) continuing studies, 3) entrepreneurship, and more! 


Challenge your student to become "occupationally literate." Ask: "Do you have any ideas about what you might want to do when you graduate?" If your student seems unsure, you can talk about personal qualities you see as talents and strengths. You can also recommend: 

  • talking with a career coach and/or utilizing the career center’s complimentary resources
  • talking with their academic advisor
  • talking with their favorite faculty members
  • talking with a recent alumni working in a field of interest
  • researching a variety of interesting career fields and employers online
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