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Career Counseling 101 for Parents

Ever year it comes around! The time when the Guidance Counselor asks her Seniors, “what course are you going to take and which college do you want to attend”. Answers are wide and varied but the predominant responses are: “I don’t know”, “I’m not sure”, “I think this is what I want”, “this is what my dad wants me to do”, “what are my choices” and “what do you think I should do”.

Decisions about the future are difficult. Even buying shoes is difficult! They must be an appropriate style and color for the purpose for which they were bought; they must be within budget; but most importantly, they must fit. If they don’t fit, the future will be painful and slow; if they are inappropriate for the purpose required, then they can’t be worn and the money has been wasted. For a high school student choosing a course, college and career has many similarities, but the implications of the choice are far more profound.

Each year tens of thousands of students go through this process of choosing for their future. Everyone fervently hopes that they make a good choice and will be accepted at their preferred college for their chosen course of study, and that in a few more years it will lead to a great career. Hope, however, is the operative word. How are our future generations going to make good choices unless they are equipped to do so?

International Education Specialists of Makati (Inter-Ed) have been helping students every year by conducting workshops at their schools, introducing them to the world of work, and guiding them through the decision-making process. At the same time, the school guidance counselors are actively brought into the picture for following through with the students. But, one critical area has never been addressed – the area of equipping parents in how to help their children.

All parents want the best for their children. Jesus said (when talking about evil people!), “What father among you, if his son asks for a loaf of bread, will give him a stone; or if he asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent”(Luke 11 v 11). The answer, of course, is none! And yet, even though parents want the best for their children, those children when it comes to choosing on their course, college and career, frequently try to shut their parents out of the decision-making progress or even reject their advice out of hand. The parents then become frustrated and this frequently leads to arguments and disruptions in the family….. and yet they had the best of intentions.


On September 17 & 18, 2009, Inter-Ed will be putting on a Conference Workshop for parents called “CAREER COUNSELING 101 FOR PARENTS”. This has been designed to give parents guidance on how to approach their teens concerning their course/college/career choices and how to give sound advice without creating conflict. To ensure that they are in synch with their school, teachers and counselors from high schools throughout Metro Manila and the nearby provinces will also be invited to attend. The seminar will be conducted from 1.00 – 4.00pm at Function Room 2, SMX Mall of Asia Complex.

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Online Reservations may be made individually or as a group by going to and clicking on the Orange Banner for the 21st Career Counseling Exhibit and then clicking on “Parents”. Those who are not comfortable with the Internet may contact Inter-Ed on 819-1001, texting 0918-904-1282 or e-mailing Many schools are organizing attendance as a PTA activity in conjunction with their teachers and counselors. Speakers and workshop facilitators will be Roger Bartholomew, President of Inter-Ed and Director of Southville International School, and Dr. Joyce Dy, Professor at UAP.

“CAREER COUNSELING 101 FOR PARENTS” will be highly practical yet firmly based on sound counseling theory. Dr Joyce Dy is one of the pre-eminent authorities in this area and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Career Development Association of the Philippines (CDAP). Part of her role at UAP is to integrate her research with the college guidance department to ensure a high quality of career guidance services. Roger Bartholomew has been counseling students about their future since 1983 and spends much of his time with parents and students guiding and organizing their studies. As well as being a very frequent speaker and workshop facilitator at High Schools, Colleges and Universities in the Philippines he also teaches high school students History and English Literature and writes a regular column for

While “CAREER COUNSELING 101 FOR PARENTS” is going on, 10,000+ high school students from more than 400 high schools will be talking to 40 of the Philippines’ most popular colleges and universities all under one roof, along with 12 overseas institutions from Australia, Canada, NZ, UK and USA at Function Room 1 at the SMX Mall of Asia Complex. It might sound like hyperbole to say that the future professional workforce of the Philippines depends on parents attending “CAREER COUNSELING 101”, but there again, it’s probably true!