Banner Undergraduate Career Division of Undergraduate Education

Parents & Families

Many changes have taken place in delivering career services to students since 1953 when The University of Kentucky opened its first "Placement Office." The focus of The James W. Stuckert Career Center is to equip students with the self-knowledge, career information, and learning and work opportunities that will enable them to continue after graduation as competitive candidates for graduate school and/or employment. Since 1953, we have grown from a one person operation to a staff of 16, eager to help students put their academic studies "to work" through experiential opportunities like shadowing, internships, career fairs, on-campus interviews with local, state, regional and national employers, as well as resume, interviewing and job search coaching.

Students have also changed in the last five decades. In response to those changes, the Career Center's services have been expanded in number, scope and accessibility. With many of our services available on-line, your student can access the James W. Stuckert Career Center's services 24/7. We have found that some of the highest usage of our on-line resources occurs during the hours of 1:00-3:00 AM!

Parents have changed too. Today's parents are more interested and engaged in helping their students make career decisions and in encouraging them to take full advantage of all available campus services. Unlike academic advising centers, students are never 'required' to utilize the Career Center. Those who do, however, report wishing they'd come in sooner and more often once they find the many opportunities available. We invite you to learn more about us and encourage your student to frequent the Career Center and meet the staff. It is never too early for students to begin thinking about their academic and career options!

How Can I Help My Student with Career Planning and Exploration?

Choosing a major

Choosing a major can feel like an overwhelming task. There are dozens of options available—how does your student know which one to pick? The great news is that in today's workplace, major no longer defines one or pigeonholes one into just one career path. Options are widely varied within any one major, so students don't have to feel like they're deciding their whole future when declaring their major.

The James W. Stuckert Career Center has many resources available to help choose a major that's a great fit including:

  • "What Can I Do With This Major?" an online resource that helps connect majors with careers,
  • UK Vault Online Career Library, an online resource for company research
  • Print resources in the Katherine Kemper Career Library
  • FOCUS, an online career and educational planning system which helps make career decisions and identify career options.

Meeting with a Career Counselor

Career Counselors can also assist in exploring the possibilities of a major. The Career Center has a Career Counselor in every college, as well as a counselor dedicated specifically to Undergraduate Studies students. Students may make an appointment by calling the Career Center at 859-257-2746.

Academic advisors may have some insight as well, so check with him/her. If you're currently in Undergraduate Studies, the Central Advising and Transfer Service is a wonderful resource for information and advice.

Developing a timeline before graduation

Students shouldn't wait until senior year to think about careers! It's important to begin thinking about career plans as soon as they begin their career at UK. A large part of the college experience is finding out who you are and what you will be happy doing. The James W. Stuckert Career Center is available to help you through this process from the beginning to the end. Students may follow a timeline of appropriate activities to help!

How Can My Company or Employer Help the Career Center Assist Students with Career Planning?

Volunteer to assist the Career Center expand their employer contacts by registering for a Wildcat CareerLink account. Post your jobs, mentor a student, register at a career fair, volunteer to critique resumes. Email us for more employer information.

What if My Student Doesn't Want to Talk About Their Future

First of all, be assured that this is not uncommon! Many students experience pressure and conflict in discussing their career concerns and possibilities with parents and other close family members and friends. Many feel pulled by wanting to earn the approval of people who are important to them and uphold family expectations and traditions, while at the same time are developmentally in a phase of life in which they need to learn assert their independence and "leave home" both physically and psychologically. For suggestions from a career counselor/parent who has navigated this terrain with her own three young adult children, view the Talking with Your Student about Careers, Diane Kohler, former Senior Associate Director, James W. Stuckert Career Center (PDF below).

WARNING: Some Web sites to which these materials provide links for the convenience of users are not managed by the University of Kentucky. The University does not review, control, or take responsibility for the content of those sites.