Supporting Your Student’s Career Success

On May 20, 2020, St. Kate's Parent and Family Association (PAFA) and the Career Development Office hosted a virtual event for parents to connect with Deans and Career Development. The session included a brief program overview and tips for parents to support their students for career success.


Programs overview

Benson K. Whitney, Dean, School of Business:

Two key aspects differentiate St. Kate’s business programs. St. Kate’s is unique with its faculty, who are invested in and committed to helping students, capturing the attitude, culture, and community at St. Kate's. The business program is also focused on career readiness and has been for a long time. We want to help students build the competencies and confidence they need to enter the workforce and achieve success, by first exploring what they might be interested in doing and then helping them to develop those skills. In our advanced practicum course, students complete “stretch” projects related to the real world, or conduct internships with local companies to solve problems. We help students complete portfolio projects to demonstrate their skills in teamwork, writing, and innovation to employers. Our business program is rigorous, but highly supportive of students so they can be ready to hit the ground running when they enter the workforce.

Tarshia L. Stanley, Ph.D., Dean, School of Humanities, Arts, and Sciences (SHAS):

SHAS is where the traditional liberal arts programs reside. Traditionally, students wait until they’re juniors or seniors to think about internships or other real-world opportunities — at St. Kate’s, the SHAS programs focus on helping them build relationships and consider potential career direction from the first moment students step onto campus.  We think through the curriculum and ensure every activity and project supports students’ connections to skill sets that will stand out in the work world, and our faculty members work to help students build a wide range of skill sets. SHAS reinforces to students the importance of investing in themselves as lifelong learners, an essential approach or success throughout the multiple jobs they will likely have over the course of their careers.

Lisa L. Dutton, PhD, Dean of Health Sciences & Professor — Henrietta Schmoll School of Health:

St. Kate’s health sciences programs focus on interprofessional practice and education to prepare students to work in teams. Across healthcare and many other industries, the ability to work well in teams is vital for students’ later success. We help students understand their skills in addition to valuing the skills of others, providing a holistic view with an eye to effective patient care. Our programs provide students with varied opportunities to practice working in different teams, to understand what it means to be a good team member and a good team leader. Practices and skills are integrated across all of the programs with opportunities for students to practice and be prepared for the workplace in healthcare environments.

Laura J. Fero, PhD, MSN, RN, Dean of Nursing — Henrietta Schmoll School of Health:

The College for Women offers one degree in nursing, the BSN, and nursing students typically know the path they want to take when entering the program. Nursing is a competitive program, which means students must be committed from day one and need to understand the value of liberal arts to prepare them for the nursing field. Like many other healthcare fields, the ability to lead is crucial in nursing. Nursing is also holistic since it touches people at many different levels, which needs students to be prepared by delivering services at the bedside, in the community, within the public health, and internationally. Students’ foundation in liberal arts provides them with the ability to relate to others at a much different level, including their levels of emotional intelligence and critical thoughts, since it's all connected from their first day as a St. Kate’s student.

What’s unique about St. Kate’s nursing program is that it offers students the opportunity for many experiences with clinical opportunities in different settings such as public health, work in the communities, acute care, international care, and the diversity in which students can practice.  The nursing program can be a difficult road for students, but it’s holistic in the way we support students to achieve their goals from a career perspective. Nursing is a highly recruited career, and we're here to prepare the most exceptional nurses we can.

Tina Wagner, Director of Career Development:

The Career Development Office serves many students and provides different supports from career exploration, choosing majors, assistance with internships, and job search support through our career education and exploration services. The office works in partnership with academics and faculty across all programs to support students.  Also, Career Development provides many events to help students make connections with employers and alumni, such as career fairs, classroom presentations, and employer visits. We are here to provide support, whatever a student's career path may be!

Tips for supporting your student’s career success:

Your student is likely to change jobs several times during their career — St. Kate’s aims to partner with students through a lifetime of learning.

  • Faculty: Encourage your student to use faculty as a resource! Faculty members are incredibly committed to students' success and can guide students, providing support with the profession, building network, and opportunities they may have the inside scoop on. Sometimes students need a nudge during their education.
  • Networking: Remind your student that it’s more than just the classes — it’s important for students to take advantage of co-curricular activities and build relationships with faculty, staff, alums, and their fellow students. Help your student work their mentoring networks and develop supportive relationships. 
  • Real-world experience: Centers such as Community Work and Learning offer service-learning and student employment opportunities, which give them real-world experience in their field and expose them to options they may not have considered. Volunteering, mission trips, and international courses are all other great growth opportunities for your student.
  • Growth: Help students understand that failure is a wonderful teacher. Some failures are inevitable, and they are important stepping stones for students to learn, build their skillsets, and grow resiliency. St. Kate’s is a great place to learn how to take risks in a supportive environment.
  • Business knowledge: Students should match some of what they're doing with business courses since every work experience requires leadership and other business skills such as basic finance understanding and how to work with many different types of people.