Parents FAQs

Parents, guardians, and family members have an influential role in student career development. College is a major transition period for many students. While it’s important to empower your student to make their own decisions and take responsibility for their job search process, you can help them by encouraging them to engage with the many great resources available here at Rice, including the Center for Career Development (CCD).

The Center for Career Development (CCD) offers programs, services and resources to guide Rice students in pursuing their career goals. We equip Rice students with the skills and confidence needed to discover their interests and navigate their career journey from college to graduation, and throughout their life.

Our vision is to empower all Rice students to find and make their place in the world.

Our mission is that we believe all Rice students are capable of achieving their professional goals.

We support this by:

EDUCATING them on knowledge of self, career options, and resources

CONNECTING them with opportunities through the global Rice network

EMPOWERING them with the confidence, skills, and tools to achieve lifelong career fulfillment.

Check out our Parent & Family FAQ list below to learn more about common questions and familiarize yourself with tools to recommend.

Frequently Asked Questions by Parents & Family

How does meeting with the CCD support my student?

The CCD can support your student in a variety of ways. Our appointment offerings allow your student to discuss any career-related topic in a private, individualized space.

We can discuss the following topics with students (and much more…)

  • Career & Personality Assessments
  • Employment Exploration
  • Graduate School Exploration
  • Internship Exploration
  • Major/Career Path Exploration
  • Mock Interview
  • Professional Correspondence Review
  • Resume, CV Review
  • Career Gear/Dress for Success

What is Handshake?

Handshake is our online, one-stop-shop platform to meet your students’ career needs. With Handshake, your student can schedule appointments with our team, view our events and career fairs, access multiple helpful guides and resources, and search for and apply to internships, externships, fellowships, and jobs.

When should my student start thinking about a career or graduate school?

Career exploration is not always a linear path and will differ for each person. Our data has shown that students that engage in career planning early feel more prepared and confident for the workforce or graduate school.

Our ProfessionOwl Program outlines what this exploration can look like:

Does the choice of major determine career?

Many students enter college associating their choice of major with a specific career. While several majors can align with a defined career path, the major a student chooses can help spur personal development and the development of transferable skills.

What skills/characteristics do employers seek?

Ensuring that students are career-ready truly guides the practice of what we do. The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) outlined 8 career skills or competencies that they have found employers seek in entry-level candidates. In no particular order, these 8 competencies are:

  • Career & Self Development
  • Leadership
  • Communication
  • Professionalism
  • Critical Thinking
  • Teamwork
  • Equity & Inclusion
  • Technology

The definitions and a deeper dive into these competencies can be found here:

Where can I find data about hiring trends and outcomes for Rice students?

Check out our Annual Report page to gain a yearly comprehensive review of the services and events provided by the CCD as we seek to live out our mission and vision.

Click here to learn more about the achievements of our undergraduate alumni.

What is an externship and how does it differ from an internship?

An externship is a short, formal networking and job shadowing experience that can connect your student to Rice alumni, parents, and friends to learn about different career opportunities. Students can use it to explore or clarify a career choice while also developing professional relationships.

An internship is a paid or unpaid form of employment offered by an employer. This experience can range from a few months to a semester depending on the type of experience offered. An internship can provide students space to explore a career while also giving them relevant skills for the workforce.

How can I best support my student with career planning and preparation?

The support that you provide to your student is vital and there are great ways to give your student guidance in their career process.

  • Encourage your student to schedule an appointment with a professional at the CCD.
  • Listen to your student about their career goals and plans with an open mind.
  • Encourage your student to pursue different experiences while at Rice (i.e. internships, student organizations, research, part-time jobs, study abroad, etc.)
  • Give them the freedom and agency to explore; avoid doing their career planning for them.

Parents can also review our four-year action plan as a guided resource to providing support to your student.

Where can my student learn more about CCD events and career opportunities?

Up-to-date information can be found here for any CCD-related events.

Where can I go to learn more about other Rice resources?

For information on other campus resources, feel free to review the main Rice campus Parent Resources page.