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Family Guide to Career Services

How to Impact Your Student’s Professional Development

Finding a job is a process that takes intentional steps from the moment students arrive at Mizzou. Health Professions Career Services is available from the first day your student steps on campus to the time they cross the stage with their diploma. We help students by providing career-related resources, offering one-on-one appointments to discuss their specific needs, and planning events (e.g., information sessions, networking events, career fairs) to engage students with employers and graduate/professional programs. While our office does engage with students multiple times via classroom visits and assignments and monthly email communications, the responsibility of engaging with us for support ultimately falls to the student. This document will provide actions for students to consider during their first year at Mizzou, FAQs, and some additional resources for your student to consider.

Suggested Actions for First Year Students

  • Focus on coursework. It is important to have a strong start to your academics your first year at Mizzou.
  • Meet with your academic advisor to discuss questions and develop a plan to graduation.
  • Explore different majors and careers to decide your primary and parallel plans.
  • Visit the Office of Career Services to discuss possible jobs while in college and future career paths.
  • Develop an impressive resume and get it reviewed by a Career Specialist by appointment through MU Connect.
  • Register on and upload your resume. Browse internship, part-time, and full-time positions.
  • Attend at least one of our information sessions to learn about different companies and opportunities.
  • Review application and admissions processes for SHP degrees you are interested in pursuing post-bachelor’s degree to learn more about the academic requirements and experiences needed to be a competitive applicant. Always consult your academic advisor regarding degree requirements for academic programs.
  • Get involved by joining a campus organization such as Sigma Eta Rho, SHP’s professional coed fraternity.
  • Establish contacts with supervisors and faculty who may be able to write recommendation letters for a graduate/professional program application.
  • Devote time and skills to the community by volunteering in Columbia or in a healthcare-related field.

Frequently Asked Questions from Families

Q: What should my student do to maximize their chances of finding employment after graduation?

A: Please strongly encourage your student to be pro-active, schedule an individual appointment with us, upload a resume to, follow our 4-year career development plan, attend information sessions and career fairs to gain information on different career paths, engage with staff, faculty and alumni, and get involved in health-related campus organizations and clubs to gain leadership skills. Students have to take the initiative to maximize their experience and we are here to support them 100% along the way.

Q: When should my student first visit the Office of Career Services?

A: Ideally, a student should make plans to visit the Office of Career Services (and their academic advisor) their first year at least once per semester to stay on track with professional development. Encourage your student to develop these relationships early in their academic career to develop a support network.

Q: What can I do to help prepare my student for life after college?

A: Please offer your student guidance and support, but encourage your student to utilize our services, lead their own job search, and allow your student to make career-related decisions. Career development can be stressful, and this might be the first big decision that your student has had to make. Be patient, sympathetic and understanding, even if you do not agree with your student’s decisions.

Q: What happens if my student does not get into the graduate/professional program they applied to?

A: Given the competitive nature of graduate and professional programs, we do have students who do not make it into their desired program. At this point, there are a number of ways students choose to proceed. If they have applied to multiple programs (which we recommend), they still have the opportunity to be accepted into those programs. Students will also take this time to consult with the program that did not accept them on how they can strengthen their application for the next submission cycle. In preparation, students may take or re-take courses, gain more health-related work or volunteer experience, or shadow other healthcare professionals (sometimes called “taking a gap year”). Students may also   choose a different career path or go right into the workforce (see next question). To help students become the most competitive applicant possible, we suggest they visit our office (and their academic advisor) early in their college career and do so regularly throughout their time at Mizzou.

Q: What jobs can my student get with a Bachelor of Health Science in Health Science degree?

A: Roughly 40% of our students who earn the BHS in Health Science degree will choose a non-clinical career path post-graduation. Non-clinical positions (or those who do not provide medical treatment or testing) that recent BHS in Health Science graduates have obtained include Healthcare IT Consultant, Sales Representative, Recruiter, Patient Service Representative, Patient Care Technician, Account Manager, Business Development Representative, and Research Coordinator/Assistant. Learn more about non-clinical career options here.

Q: How can Career Services staff help my student?

A: Effective career planning is a process that takes time, and we encourage students to stay engaged with their career development throughout their time at Mizzou. We provide students with suggestions for a step-by-step, year-by-year approach to help them meet their career goals. Here is a list of specific services our office provides to your student while at Mizzou:

  • Comprehensive resume and cover letter reviews
  • Personal statement analysis
  • Career consulting and career plan analysis
  • Events with employers and graduate programs
  • Mock interviews/Interview skills
  • What you can do with a BHS in Health Science degree
  • Curriculum Vitae reviews
  • Graduate school preparation
  • Find health-related involvement on campus
  • Full and part-time job seeking assistance
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  • Discuss ways to become a competitive applicant
  • How to apply to SHP professional programs
  • Networking suggestions related to specific fields
  • Career Fair preparation

Q: How can my student make an appointment with Health Professions Career Services?

A: Students can call our office at 573.882.9622, email us at or make a phone or virtual appointment through MU Connect, an online service available to all Mizzou students. Our office is open year-round.

Additional Resources for Students

  • Resume and Covers Letters – lots of great resources for resume creation including office-generate templates, health-related resume examples (including transfer student examples), how to write bullet points, action verbs list, and cover letter resources.
  • Health-related Student Organizations and Community Activities – looking to get involved on campus or the Columbia community? Check out this list! Find other campus orgs on MU Engage.
  • Health Professions Career Services Events – find out about our next employer or graduate program information session, networking event, or career fair!
  • (powered by Handshake) – find your next part-time job or internship! Upload your resume today and start that search.
  • Job Shadowing & Volunteering – learn more about how to shadow/observe healthcare professionals and some locations you can consider around the state!
  • Big Interview – Want to practice your interviewing skills? Big Interview is a web-based program that combines comprehensive training and hands-on practice to help students improve their interview skills and build their confidence. Students can access a database of thousands of questions for various experience levels and industries.
  • MU Career Center: Mizzou Career Tools – an endless amount of career-related guides and resources!