FAQ Parent 1

Career and Employability Service - Parents' Frequently Asked Questions

There are many ways in which you can help and support your son or daughter in their journey through their career exploration and development process.  Here, we offer you answers to some of the most common question that parents ask.  We hope that the answers will help you to support your student as they make choices about their preferred career and seek and apply for work experience and graduate roles or further study.

Rest assured, if you don't find the answers to your questions below, we'll do all that we can to help, so please contact us.

Q: What can Massey’s Career Service offer to my son or daughter?

A: The Career Service has a Careers Consultant on each of Massey’s three campuses. We offer your son or daughter access to a wide range of careers information, advice and guidance services free-of-charge. These services cover issues that include their career choice and development; exploring their skills, values, interests and career or further study options; finding work of any type and ways in which they might build their skills and develop their employability. Find out more here.

In addition to offering them one-to-one help we offer them access to job opportunities; advice on finding and applying for work and we facilitate a broad range of events including career expos, workshops, seminars and talks. Your son or daughter can access more information on these under the ‘jobs’ and ‘events’ tabs on Massey CareerHub.

Q: At what stage in their studies should my son or daughter contact the Career Services?

A: We recommend that they make contact with us as early as possible, regardless of the stage that they are at in their career thinking. More than ever before, graduate employers are keenest on job applicants that can offer tertiary qualifications but also relevant skills; experience and a passion for working in the role, organisation and sector concerned.

Where they make contact with us, we can work with your son or daughter to explore their career interests and options; ways in which they might identify and develop the skills employers seek and advise them on finding and applying for work. 

You may also want to refer your son or daughter to this careers timeline.

Q: What should my son or daughter major in?

A: In New Zealand’s graduate labour market, it is often the case that degree majors do not necessarily translate into specific career fields. In part as a result of this, we would recommend that your son or daughter selects a major that they feel that they’d find interesting and intriguing.

However, we’d also recommend that they contact us to explore career options for which the majors that interest them might be useful or required.  Also, that they seek advice from the university’s Student Advice and Information Unit's Academic Adviser Team and from academic staff in the College that they are enrolled in.  

You may want to encourage your son or daughter to take time to explore:

  • Themselves - what they are good at, what they enjoy and how best they learn. Then can base their decision on a major and minors on their awareness of what they love to do and what they’re most passionate about. Many students choose majors and minors simply through a love for the subjects and pursue careers that have little to do with the subjects that they studied.
  • Their options in the world - what career options are available to them, what do they involve, who might employ them and what mix of qualifications, skills, attributes and knowledge is typically required? Many people choose a major because they have determined that it’s useful or required for the career path that they want to take. If they are committed to a particular career, they should ensure that they know of any particular entry requirements that it has.
  • The majors available - what are they, what do they involve, how are they taught and assessed and what career options might they open up?
  • The subjects that they are good at. They are likely to do better in majors that interest them; that they’re confident they’ll do well in and that are taught and assessed in ways that suit them best.

Coupled with this, useful information can be accessed on the No Major Drama web site and on the following:

Q: Can you find a job for my son or daughter?

A: Whilst we cannot find work for your son or daughter, they have access to Massey CareerHub, the on-line portal that we use to publicise jobs and events.  This portal carries a very wide range of job opportunities in NZ and overseas – including vacation work; voluntary roles; internships and graduate opportunities.  Additionally, the links and information found here may be useful and if your son or daughter contacts us we can advise them on a wealth of ways to find work.

Note that some employers, recruiting for internship and graduate roles in particular, have early closing dates so we encourage you to recommend that your son or daughter starts to explore job search as early in their studies as possible. 

Q: My son or daughter is keen to work whilst they study. Can you help with this?

A: Yes, and where they are able to, we would encourage them to seek part-time; voluntary; vacation and/or internship-based work experience.  Note that in NZ, employers often use the terms summer work, vacation work and internships interchangeably.  In the main, internships tend to be more structured than other forms of work experience and often include more training and supervision.  Additionally, internships often offer experiences that are more closely related to full-time graduate opportunities.  Note that many internship positions are only open to applicants in their second, or later, years of tertiary study.

Q: How crucial is it that my son or daughter gets some work experience whilst at Massey?

A: We would say very, as many graduate employers prefer applicants to have done so and a significant number recruit people who have worked before for them. Such work experience is often an invaluable learning experience; an opportunity for your son or daughter to explore their likes and dislikes and to try out different fields to gauge their interest and a useful way of developing contacts.

Work experience is also a great way of developing a marketable and transferable set of skills, including communication; teamwork; leadership; interpersonal; time management and planning and organising.

Q: What do employers look for in graduates?

A: As is the case in many countries, NZ graduate employers are keenest on graduates who have good degrees, some (ideally relevant) work experience; have participated fully in University life and have a track record of taking on responsibility and of achieving. The ability to reflect on and articulate achievements is highly valued, as are skills relevant to the role concerned.

More than ever before, employers expect graduates to ‘hit the ground running’ and to ‘add value’. They are expected to be able to recognise the skills they’re developing by (for example) being a student; in their extra-curricular activities and in any work that they undertake.

Regardless of the roles, sectors or organisations that are of interest to your son or daughter, the skills and attributes sought are likely to include at least some of the following:

  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Negotiation
  • Commercial awareness
  • Self-discipline
  • Maturity
  • Professionalism
  • Interpersonal
  • Time management
  • Planning and organising
  • Problem solving
  • Self-motivation
  • Intellectual curiosity
  • Self-management
  • Initiative
  • Customer service
  • I.T. literacy
  • Work ethic
  • Commitment to learning
  • The ability to 'fit in'
  • Business etiquette

Q: How can I help my son or daughter with their career exploration and job search?

A:You, and indeed your wider family and friends, can help in a myriad of ways!  First and perhaps foremost, we’d encourage you to try to talk with your son and daughter about their interests, and recommend that they explore different career options and areas of study and

Where you know someone who’s working in a career area of interest to your son or daughter, can you connect them together?  Could they ‘work shadow’ that person, and/or interview them for information? Additionally, can you encourage them to access our resources; attend our events and make contact with us?

Where you are keen to learn more about how you can help, please see the resources here and feel free to contact us.

Massey Contact Centre Mon - Fri 8:30am to 5:00pm 0800 MASSEY (+64 6 350 5701) TXT 5222 contact@massey.ac.nz Web chat Staff Alumni News Māori @ Massey