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As parents of graduates facing the toughest job market in years, what can you do to assist your son or daughter in transitioning from the secure world of classes and residence halls to the unknown reality of what lies ahead? Here are some suggestions:

Ask how you can help
Your daughter may have specific ideas about ways you can assist her. Your editing skills may be the second pair of eyes needed to critique a resume; your managerial skills could be useful as a mock interviewer; your research skills might uncover some new job leads. Think about how your role as something other than mom or dad could be helpful. But don't be pushy: Let her take the lead.

Suggest a visit to the campus career center
The campus career center provides a wealth of job search resources: Job postings, career fairs, resume assistance, and career counseling, just to name a few. Make sure your son or daughter is aware of the office. If your new grad isn't near his alma mater, suggest that he call the career services offices at local colleges and ask if help is available.

Offer networking contacts
Networking is the most effective way to find jobs in the hidden job market—where many opportunities are discovered. With your son's permission, talk to your co-workers about your son's job search. Discuss it with neighbors and friends. You never know who may know of a job opportunity.

Be ready to hear new ideas
Your son may mention attending graduate school. Or, your daughter, who has discussed a career in journalism for years, may suddenly talk about sales. Listen to your new grad's ideas with an open mind, making positive suggestions when appropriate.
Ask your new grad open-ended questions: This will show your son or daughter that you're interested—and the answers will help your new grad think through the new ideas they're considering.

Provide a sounding board when frustrations overflow
The nightly news about unemployment is stressful. Imagine trying to complete your studies and conduct job search, too. If your daughter calls to talk, but she really needs to vent, listen to her. Sometimes the best thing you can say is nothing at all.

Give an early graduation present with the job search in mind
Don't wait until May to say congratulations. Now is a great time to give a graduation present that will be used during the job search and first year on the job. Looking for ideas? Interview suits, briefcases, portfolios, and memory sticks are great gifts for the new grad.

Reassure your new grad that this bad job market is temporary
The ebb and flow of the economy is constant, and brighter days lie ahead. You've likely experienced similar ups and downs. Convey your experience to them.

Look and listen for signs of depression
If your son or daughter talks about skipping class, exhaustion, or loss of appetite, he or she might need some help. If your student is still on campus, contact appropriate campus representatives (residence life offices, counseling centers, etc.) for help.

Remind your new grad that you are proud of his or her accomplishments
A sour economy should not take away the success of earning a college degree. Be sure your son or daughter knows that you are proud of this achievement. Send a card or make a phone call to specifically convey this message.

From an article by Kelli Robinson

UAB News

  • Indigo Girls set to perform at UAB’s Alys Stephens Center on Sept. 23
    The duo will perform classic hits and songs from their latest album “One Lost Day.”

    Photo credit: Jeremy CowartAmerican folk rock music duo Indigo Girls will take the stage at UAB’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center on Wednesday, Sept. 23, at 7 p.m. Concertgoers will have an opportunity to take a walk down memory lane as the duo performs old favorites like “Closer to Fine” and “Galileo” and introduces new classics from their June 2015 release, “One Lost Day.”

    The Indigo Girls began playing small shows in the 1980s. With 12 studio albums, three live records, numerous Grammy nominations and awards, gold and platinum certifications, and decades of touring, the Indigo Girls remain relevant and just as perfectly matched vocally as when they first took to the stage.

    Consisting of Amy Ray and Emily Saliers, the pair first met as fifth- and sixth-graders in Decatur, Georgia, and began singing together during high school. Originally billed as Saliers and Ray, they adopted the name Indigo Girls during their undergraduate days at Atlanta’s Emory University. The Indigos were attending classes by day and performing as an acoustic duo in local clubs by night when they made their first recording in 1985 with the single “Crazy Game/Everybody’s Waiting (for Someone To Come Home),” which they issued on their own label, followed by an EP and, in 1987, their first full-length LP, “Strange Fire.”

    Tickets are $45.50, $55.50 and $63.50. Student tickets are $21. For more information, call 205-975-2787 or visit www.AlysStephens.org.

    The duo has stood the test of time. More than 30 years later, with their husky voices and intimate, poignant lyrics, they are still going strong. While many artists who launched their careers in the 1980s have slipped from our collective memory, the Indigo Girls are still writing and recording, championing a number of social and environmental causes, and filling halls with devoted, multigenerational audiences. The iconic duo continues to challenge itself creatively, over and over again, adding to their body of work.

    Opening for the Indigo Girls is Georgia native Hannah Thomas. An up-and-coming artist, Thomas has shared the stage with the Indigo Girls before, along with other acts such as Kristian Bush of Sugarland and Zac Brown of the Zac Brown Band. Thomas was named best country act in the Georgia Lottery’s All Access Music Search in 2011.

    The UAB Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center is located at 1200 10th Ave. South. Tickets are $45.50, $55.50 and $63.50. Student tickets are $21. For more information, call 205-975-2787 or visit www.AlysStephens.org.

  • Lace up for Blazer Fun Run/Walk
    Join UAB Employee Wellness for the annual Blazer Fun Run on Sept. 19.

    Join UAB Employee Wellness for the annual Blazer Fun Run Sept. 19.The fifth annual Blazer Fun Run/Walk, set for 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 19, offers faculty, staff, students and alumni the opportunity to get physically fit and learn about all the health resources, services and benefits available at UAB. Participants can walk, jog or run the 2-mile course, which begins near the Bell Building parking lot, followed by a post-walk event on the UAB Campus Green.

    The event, hosted by UAB Employee Wellness, will culminate with a celebration on the UAB Campus Green featuring live music, family games and other activities. Individuals who want to participate can register as part of a team, which will represent departments throughout UAB. The UAB team with the most participation will be awarded a prize from UAB Employee Wellness.

    To find out more information or to register online, visit the official Blazer Fun Run/Walk page

  • Kasman takes first place at International Keyboard Institute and Festival
    UAB junior Aleksandra Kasman outplayed 33 talented pianists to win first place at the International Keyboard Institute and Festival.

    Out of a talented international pool of 33 pianists, University of Alabama at Birmingham junior Aleksandra Kasman took the top prize at the 2015 International Keyboard Institute and Festival in New York City on Aug. 2.

    Kasman is a music major in the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Music and a member of the UAB Honors College’sUniversity Honors Program. She studies piano with her father, UAB professor and artist-in-residence Yakov Kasman.

    The International Keyboard Institute and Festival is a summer piano festival that offers two weeks of concerts, masterclasses and lectures, and is open to student participants as well as the public. Students from around the world are given the opportunity to study with faculty and artists, participate in masterclasses, and attend concerts and lectures given by some of the world’s best-known pianists and scholars.

    Kasman was accepted into this highly competitive event as a Piano Arts North American Competition scholarship winner. Participants who attend the festival for two weeks are eligible to compete for $10,000 in the Dorothy MacKenzie Artist Recognition Scholarship Awards. The MacKenzie Awards support and recognize the artistic endeavors of participants in the festival and encourage excellence and dedication. 

    The rigorous, four-day competition is held in three rounds, with a total of one hour and 20 minutes of playing, or a full concert program. Kasman was named one of four finalists out of 33 participants and went on to win first place.

    “The International Keyboard Institute and Festival gave me the opportunity to make valuable connections with other participants from all over the world,” Kasman said. “It was an honor to learn from professors of the highest caliber and some of the biggest names in piano, including festival founder and director Jerome Rose.”

    Kasman’s goal for the next two years is to compete in even bigger competitions and move on to graduate school after completing her studies at UAB.

    “I hope to go on to obtain master’s and doctoral degrees,” Kasman said. “The great thing about music is that there are so many things you can do: performing, teaching, masterclasses, workshops, recording. I have entertained the thought of possibly going into music administration. I am also interested in conducting.”

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