Parents and Families

Woman sitting in grassy field, reading a book

The University of Michigan boasts one of the largest and most diverse groups of graduates in the country, and each one has a Michigan "story." More than simply a diploma or a specific major, it is the story they’ve written through their time at Michigan as the leaders and the best.

Your students should consider the Michigan story they will want to tell. What ideas can they act on to make their story unique?   As a parent, you can encourage them to engage in campus communities that will foster unforgettable experiences and stories to share with prospective employers.

This may require you to expand your conversations from "Have you decided on a major?" or "Where are you living next year?" to "What do you enjoy studying the most?" or "Who is your favorite professor, and why?" You can also encourage your student to seek out communities of others who share their interests, as well as groups and individuals who may challenge their assumptions.

The Career Center is also a great place for students to have these conversations.  Students need experience talking about what they are doing in college, what matters to them, and how U-M is shaping them. As they gain confidence in who they are, they will be better able to demonstrate to others how they can make their best contribution in the future.

Feedback from employers and graduate school admissions officers suggest that successful students make a connection between their college experience and their future opportunities. Students need to show, through tangible examples, how they have prepared themselves to take on new challenges and responsibilities. Your student’s discussions with you and with career coaches are great ways to establish these connections. The Career Center’s i•plan is another tool for helping students to develop and share their stories. 

With solid goals and a story of accomplishment, time well invested, and personal growth, a student can confidently join University of Michigan’s alumni (the largest living alumni group in the country), and make the best professional contributions possible.


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