Graduate Portrait

Thank you for taking an interest in your student's career development process. Many parents & family members are eager to learn what services the University offers for career development. We believe that the ideal combination for future success consists of parents and families providing support and encouragement, while empowering their students to take responsibility for their own career exploration and decision making process.

Our Philosophy

  • Focus on the student. We are here for your student and what is important to them. We can help them with a wide range of issues ranging from broad career exploration to specific plans for reaching their internship, job, or higher education goals.
  • Private, safe, and supportive. We respect your student's privacy, their values, and their uniqueness.
  • Need your student to participate. In order to make progress your student needs to be an active participant. We can advise them about appropriate action steps but they must be the one to act.
  • Connection to resources. Career counselors have a breadth of knowledge about a variety of career fields, but our main expertise lies in the career planning process. Instead of telling your student details about careers, we can help them find the resources to get the information they need.
  • Recommend tactics and strategies for finding a job or internship. We talk with your student about ways they can discover job or internship opportunities but we cannot provide them a ready-made list of open positions that fit their exact situation.

Understanding the Limitations

The career discernment and job search process can be stressful and challenging. As you support your student, it is helpful to understand limitations. While we utilize assessment tools to help students discern their values and interests, we do not have a "test" that will tell a student what job they should seek. We can discuss strategies for exploring their options and making informed decisions. Our staff provides many opportunities for your student to connect with employers in person and online; however, we do not have a hidden database of jobs or internships. The Center for Career Development is not a placement service.

Learning About Online Resources

Undergraduate Career Services, a team of professionals dedicated to supporting undergraduate students from all majors, maintains a website full of resources. You are welcome to explore the entire UCS site, and you may find the following pages particularly interesting:


Frequently Asked Questions

In order to enhance your ability to assist your student, we have developed a number of FAQ to address the most common questions we receive.

My child is interested in “everything” and his having a difficult time choosing a major.  What should he/she do? 

  • It’s very normal for students to experience difficulty when it comes to choosing a major.  Many ND students enjoy and excel at a number of different subjects.  To help students narrow down their options, we encourage them to explore broadly and engage in self-assessment.  Students should take a wide range of classes in their first year to ascertain which they truly enjoy most.  Students should talk with older students and faculty to learn more about the disciplines that interest them the most.  They should also take time to reflect on their values, interests, personality, and skills and gauge how those fit with the subject areas they are studying.  Additionally, they can meet with a member of the Engage team in our office who can show them how to research careers and majors through our Online Resources.  And, of course, they should meet with their First Year Advisor to discuss course requirements and curricula.

Does major determine or limit career choice?

  • We believe that major does not determine your student’s career path.  Instead, we encourage students to study what he or she enjoy, examine their values, interests, and personality, and explore careers related to what they have learned about themselves.  Notre Dame alumni from all majors go on to a wide range of career paths.  For more information regarding students’ plans following graduation, please review the First Destination Survey Data compiled by the Office of Institutional Research.  

How can I best assist my student with his/her career development? 

  • Career development is a lifelong and unique process and constantly needs revisiting and revising.  For these reasons, The Center for Career Development is dedicated to meeting the students where they are in the career development process.  Rather than taking a “grab and go” career approach, we’d like students to look within to help them determine how to outwardly move forward.  
  • One of the first steps includes helping the student know him/herself by identifying his/her V(values), I(interests), P(personality) and S(skills).  Students often meet with Undergraduate Career Services counselors to sort through and make sense of all of this information.  Students can now schedule their appointments online.
  • Once the student knows him/herself, they can begin exploring various careers by:
    • Conducting Informational interviews with alumni and people in the career area of their interest
    • Finding Internships within a specific field
    • Networking at career fairs, employer information sessions, football games - the possibilities are endless
  • When the student is thinking about pursuing a specific career within a particular industry, Our Undergraduate Career Services team has industry specialists designated to help the students.  It is highly recommended that the students schedule an appointment with one of those Career Counselors.  Again, appointments can be scheduled online.
  • It is important to remember that it is the responsibility of the student to take charge of his or her own career.  It is a unique process and often chaotic but in the end worth the empowering experience.  

What attributes do employers look for? 

  • According to NACE’s (National Association for Colleges and Employers) 2016 survey, employers seek the following attributes (in order):  leadership, ability to work on a team, written communication, problem-solving, verbal communication, strong work ethic, initiative, analytical skills, flexibility, technical, interpersonal skills (relate well to others), computer, detail-oriented, organizational, friendly, strategic planning, creativity, tactfulness, and entrepreneurial.
  • Identifying experiences associated with these attributes list is a wonderful way for your student to approach a variety of college-aged activities.  A worksheet to help students track their skills based on University learning outcomes can be found on page 16 of our Career Development Guide (PDF).

When should my student start using the Center for Career Development? 

  • There is no specific time students should start using the Center for Career Development as each student has a unique career development journey.  Every first year student will engage with career development content and resources during the Moreau First Year Experience course and again through their College as part of the Sophomore Check-up program. We welcome students to visit the center early and often.

Can my student take a career “test” to figure out what he/she wants to do? 

  • Our Undergraduate Career Services staff offers assessments that can aid students in the career discernment process, but there is no "magic test” that will tell students exactly what they should do.  We recommend that students begin with our VIPS (values, interests, personality, and skills) inventories.
    • It’s possible that our additional assessments - the Strong Interest Inventory and Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) - may be beneficial as well.  The Strong assesses interests (the “what” of career development), while the MBTI assesses personality (the “how” of career development)  Students must first meet with a career counselor on the Engage team to determine if these assessments are appropriate.  Sometimes for the assessments to be most beneficial a student should take the time to gain experiences through activities and other career exploration exercises first.

Tell me about student “placement”. 

  • The Center for Career Development does not conduct “placement” for students.   After all, it is the student that is networking, writing their own resume, applying to positions, and conducting their own interviews.   We can help them develop these necessary skills but it truly is their achievement, their accomplishment in the end.  We are here to help them learn these skills to succeed in whatever path they choose to pursue. 
    • Often we will show the students and parents first destination data as a tool for career exploration and guidance. 

Can my student network with alumni?  

Should my student have an internship after his/her first year? 

  • The short answer to this question is “no”.  The word “internship” can sometimes evoke a sense of anxiety and the feeling from students that “I must have an internship my first summer or I am a lost cause”.  However, the summer after a student’s first year an “internship” is not a necessity.  In many industries, organizations don’t hire first year students - they may only hire interns that are rising juniors and seniors because they have more experience and coursework completed.  Still that doesn’t mean that a rising sophomore should sit around doing nothing.  We strongly encourage these students to do something to gain experience - whether it’s a regular summer job (i.e., retail, life-guarding, customer service, administrative office roles, etc.), research, study abroad, service, or, possibly, an internship.  These activities will allow a student to learn more about him/herself, gain professional experience, and build his/her resume - all critical pieces of career development!  Students can meet with a career counselor on the Engage team to discuss how to explore summer opportunities as a first year.

What services do you offer? 

  • The Center for Career Development provides students with career counseling and career development services, self-assessments, workshops, presentations for academic departments, career fairs, and mock interviews--just to name a few!  Upcoming events are listed on our homepage and in Go IRISH.  Students can schedule a career counseling appointment online or by calling (574) 631-5200.

What resources do you offer to help students with finding jobs and internships? 

  • We offer two primary avenues: Go IRISH and our Online Resources.  Go IRISH is Notre Dame’s online recruiting database with postings for both internship and full-time opportunities.  This resource is available to Notre Dame students only.  We also have a robust offering of additional tools through the Online Resources section of our website.  Here students can access numerous databases for career exploration, job/internship searching, company research, salary information, and current industry/organization issues.  We also have a Fields section which contains information and databases specific to a number of industries.  On top of this, we encourage students to network and utilize the strong ND alumni connections.  Career counselors can guide students through this process and familiarize them with LinkedIn and to be most effective in their networking.

What types of employers recruit at ND? 

  • Every year employers representing several industries/organizations and job functions (for profit, nonprofit, fellowship, and research) either conduct on-campus interviews or post jobs on the Go IRISH system.  Over 6,000 on-campus interviews were conducted in 2015-2016 and over 4,700  jobs were posted to Go IRISH.  The postings included 2,800 full-time positions and 1,900 internships, fellowships, and volunteer positions.

How do I (or my student) learn about upcoming career events

  • A multitude of different ways!  Students will receive bi-weekly emails from us with upcoming events.  Additionally you and your student can see what’s coming up on our events page.  In the middle of the page you’ll see our Upcoming Events.  Students can find the same information on Go IRISH.  We also market our events individually so students should watch for emails from the Center for Career Development!