Cal Parents - How to help your student find a job or internship

Gaining work experience through internships, volunteer work, or full-time, part-time or summer jobs allows students to validate their career interests and develop skills and contacts that will serve them well in pursuing post-graduate employment or education.

Common Questions
Career Center Resources
Ways You Can Help

Common Questions

What kinds of jobs and salaries do Cal graduates get starting out?

Our annual First Destination Survey of recent graduates profiles 78 Cal majors, including information about graduates’ initial employment choices in 2017-2019, as well as the range of salaries they reported earning.

How important is GPA in finding employment?

A growing number of employers want to know the academic standing and strengths of their applicants and require students to submit transcripts. Some employers set minimal academic standards. At the same time, applicants’ skills and experience, as well as how they present themselves at interviews, strongly influence employers’ hiring decisions.

Career Center Resources

  • Handshake - online access to 1000s of full and part-time, on and off-campus jobs and internships from a broad array of career fields and 350+ employers, most from business and technology, who use On-Campus Recruiting (OCR) to recruit Cal students every year
  • Our Career Readiness Workbook covers preparing for a job or internship search, finding opportunities, writing resumes and cover letters, interviewing, and negotiating and deciding among offers
  • 10+ Career & Internship Fairs to recruit Cal students, attended by over 1000 employers each year, and hundreds of Employer Information Sessions where students can learn about an organization's career opportunities, culture, and products and services
  • Internships & Externships, a section of our website that explains how internships and externships work and provides resources for students to find or develop opportunities in specific fields
  • Career Center Events & Workshops
  • Berkeley Career Network for networking with Cal alumni, an essential job search strategy
  • One-on-one Career Counseling appointments for help with developing resumes, cover letters, job and internship search strategies and interview skills

Ways You Can Help

Encourage your son or daughter to:

  • make academic success the top priority while at Cal but also engage in extracurricular activities. From an employer’s perspective, it’s usually a better idea to pursue fewer activities in depth than many different ones on a superficial level.
  • look for ways to gain formal work experience through internships, jobs or volunteer opportunities
  • make use of the Career Center, ideally before feeling desperate to find an internship or job
  • start early in college to put together a resume and consider what kinds of experience and qualifications they would like to add to it over time
  • take credit for skills and experiences already gained, whether through paid or volunteer work. Even jobs that aren’t particularly prestigious can show they have worked in a professional setting or as part of a team.
  • generate a list of people he or she knows - students, faculty, alumni, supervisors, etc. - who could become part of a professional network

Keep a balance between offering to help and getting overly involved. Offer names of people to contact from your personal or professional network; at the same time, don’t get in the way of their learning experience by doing the work yourself.


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