Frequently Asked Questions (for Parents)

You ask, we answer! We’ve compiled our most popular parent questions and answered them below, along with plenty of links to additional information.

  • How can my student make an appointment with the Career Center?
    Students can schedule appointments online, 24/7, via Handshake, our career development platform. We offer 30-minute exploratory and industry-specific career advising appointments, and a schedule is available on our See an Advisor page. We also have Career Labs and Industry-Focused Drop-Ins every day, which are first come, first served; no appointment needed.
  • When should my student start using the Career Center’s services and resources?
    The earlier, the better! We help students of all class years and at all stages in the career development process. From strengthening career competencies and researching majors and career paths to applying for internshipsjobs, and graduate school, we’re committed to providing individualized assistance and top-notch resources. It’s a common misconception that the Career Center is primarily for seniors; in fact, our career advisors assist students from the moment they begin at Tufts! In addition to programming for upperclassmen, we offer helpful events and initiatives for first year students and sophomores.
  • My student is interested in “everything” and is having a difficult time choosing a major. What do you recommend?
    It’s normal for students to experience difficulty when it comes to choosing a major.  Many Tufts students enjoy and excel at a number of different subjects. To help them narrow their options, we encourage students to explore broadly, engage in self-assessment, and evaluate their competencies and career readiness. They should take time to reflect on their values, interests, personality, and skills, and gauge how those fit with the subject areas they are studying. Students can also take a wide range of classes in their first year and talk with older students, faculty, and alumni to learn more about the disciplines that most interest them. Complementing this independent work, we encourage all students to meet with a Career Advisor and their Pre-Major or Academic Advisor for guidance.
  • Does major determine or limit career choice?
    We believe that major does not determine or limit your student’s career options. Unless students are planning to enter a technical field, such as engineering, they can obtain the skills necessary to succeed through any of the 100+ majors & minors offered at Tufts.  We encourage students to study what they enjoy, assess their values, interests, and personality, and explore careers related to what they have learned about themselves. As you’ll see from our destination outcomes, Tufts alumni from all majors go on to a wide range of career paths.
  • Should my student have an internship after the first year?

    The short answer to this question is “no.”  For a first year student, the word “internship” can sometimes evoke a sense of anxiety and the feeling that “I must have an internship my first summer or I won’t succeed later.” However, an “internship” is not a necessity during the summer after a student’s first year.  In many career fields, organizations don’t hire first year students; they may only hire rising juniors and seniors as interns because they have more experience and completed coursework.

    Still, there’s plenty for your rising sophomore to do! We encourage younger students to gain experience through summer jobs (e.g., working in retail, food service, an administrative office role, or as a camp counselor or lifeguard). They can also conduct research, study abroad, perform volunteer service, or, possibly, complete an internship. These activities will allow students to learn more about themselves, gain professional experience, and build resumes — all critical pieces of career development!  Students can meet with a career advisor to explore summer opportunities for first year students.

  • Can my student network with alumni?
    Absolutely! Each semester, we offer numerous programs that give students opportunities to engage with alumni, particularly our industry-specific networking nights. Events are advertised through our website and in our weekly eNews and On TRACC email. Students can also connect with alumni via The Herd, our student-alumni networking & mentoring platform, create their own LinkedIn profiles and join Tufts LinkedIn groups such as the Tufts University Career Network. Our career advisors regularly work with students to develop their networking skills and prepare for career conversations.
  • Do you assist students who are studying abroad?
    Students can certainly continue to meet with us—and access resources—while abroad. For example, a student could make a 1-on-1 advising appointment before departing to develop an action plan, and then continue to meet with an advisor while studying abroad. Students can schedule in-person and virtual appointments through Handshake.
  • How can I best assist my student with career readiness?

    Research indicates that parents can profoundly influence the career decisions of their students. To ensure that they get the maximum benefit from your coaching, consider the following questions:

    • Do I objectively guide my student in looking at their skills, competencies, interests, and abilities?
    • Do I allow my student the freedom to explore occupations and engage in new experiences without being judgmental?
    • Do I impose ideas (even with the best intentions) that can limit their options?
    • Am I positive and supportive when my student fails? Do I encourage my student to assume responsibility for career decisions?
    • Do I check in periodically to ask, “How can I be helpful?” and listen with openness and understanding?
  • Which attributes and competencies do employers look for?
    According to a NACE (National Association for Colleges and Employers), employers seek the following career readiness competencies, which are regularly updated with employer feedback: career and self-development, communication, critical thinking, equity & inclusion, leadership, professionalism, teamwork, and technology. Visit this page for more information about each competency.
  • Tell me about student “placement.”
    The Tufts Career Center does not conduct “placement” for students. After all, it is the student who explores careers, engages in networking, writes a resume and cover letters, applies to positions, and conducts interviews. We provide them with helpful tools and assist as they develop the necessary skills, but in the end, securing an internship, job, or grad school offer is truly their achievement. If you’d like to learn more about where Tufts grads go after graduation, view our destination data.
  • What resources does the Career Center offer to help students with finding jobs and internships?
    We offer two primary avenues: Handshake and our online resources. Handshake is Tufts’ online recruiting database with postings for both internship and full-time opportunities. We also have a robust offering of additional tools through the Internship and Job sections of our website. In addition, our Career Communities offer industry-specific tools for career exploration, job/internship searching, company research, and current industry/organization news. Beyond online resources, we encourage students to speak with career advisors for individualized support and network with Tufts alumni, professors, family and friends.
  • Does the Career Center help students with graduate or professional school applications?
    We certainly do. This could be everything from polishing one’s resume for applications to offering feedback for personal statements and preparing for grad/professional school interviews. Students interested in pre-law and pre-med paths may also seek assistance from the Tufts Pre-Law and Health Professions Advisors.
  • Does the Career Center assist students who want to work for a year or two before attending graduate or professional school?
    Definitely! We can help students research programs and prepare applications for fellowships, post-grad internships, year-long service programs1-2 year rotational programs — and more! Moreover, Tufts Alumni Career Services is a lifelong resource for alumni, whatever their career or grad school plans.
  • Which types of employers recruit at Tufts?

    Every year, employers representing many industries and job functions attend our career fairs, conduct on-campus interviews, and post jobs and internships in Handshake, our career development and recruiting platform. Employers represent career fields including arts, communications & media, consulting, consumer products & business services, education, engineering, environmental, finance, government, healthcare, law, nonprofit, real estate, research, sports, startups, and technology.

    Through ongoing career events, students have the opportunity to connect with industry professionals; learn about organizations, emerging trends and roles; explore different career paths; strengthen and build confidence in communication, networking, and other professional competencies; and connect with others who are interested in the same career fields.

  • How do I (or my student) learn about upcoming career events?
    A multitude of different ways! Each Monday, students receive a Career eNewsletter with important announcements and upcoming events. In addition, each Thursday, students receive an On TRACC (Tufts Recent Activity in Career Communities) email. This is a customizable, industry-specific email with blog posts, upcoming events, job/internship listings & more. Parents and students may also visit the Career Center calendar, and students may view and register for events in Handshake.