Career and Professional Readiness

Western Michigan University’s Haworth College of Business is dedicated to the career readiness and professional development that result in 94 percent of our undergraduate business students launching satisfying careers within three months of graduation. Students participate in innovative curricular and co-curricular programs, working with career advisors, alumni and faculty members throughout their college experience to develop their professional acumen.

The Zhang Career Center and the Student Professional Readiness Series work in tandem to offer programs that help students develop career readiness skills and fulfill requirements for graduation. Programs include the following:

  • Business etiquette dinners
  • Career development course
  • Speaker series
  • Case competitions
  • Work ethic workshop
  • Leadership development
  • Training in personal and professional branding
  • Our nationally renowned Business Externship Program 

The Zhang Career Center assists students with career exploration, major exploration, and the internship or job search process. In addition to providing career development events, online resources and printed materials, career advisors are available by appointment or during drop-in hours. Contact the Zhang Career Center for more information.

With the help of the SPuRS program manager, you will fulfill the professional readiness requirement that is part of your business degree. Contact the SPuRS program for more information.

BUSINESS EXTERNSHIP PROGRAM

Designed for pre-business students, an externship is an unpaid, collegiate-level job shadow experience. Each student applicant is matched with an organization and assigned to a mentor (often an alum) to learn about a field of interest. The program offers students an early opportunity to learn about various positions and industries as part of their major and career exploration, generally during the first two years.

Application information for the business externship program is available from the Zhang Career Center.

HANDSHAKE EMPLOYMENT SERVICE

Handshake is WMU’s employment website. All students should set up an account and publish a resume. Resumes made public by the student are searchable by employers.

Students use their accounts to view internship and full-time job opportunities posted by employers and sign up for on-campus interviews. For more information, visit the Zhang Career Center. To request assistance with a free Handshake account, students should contact:

Erin Leigh
Employer Relations Specialist
(269) 387-2761

INTERNSHIPS

An internship experience is frequently a key factor in obtaining a full-time position after graduation. Internships offer critical experience, and they also allow students to discover the industry, type of positions, and the company culture they would like to work for upon graduation. More than 60 percent of employers make full-time job offers to students who successfully completed an internship experience with them.

Working with faculty and career center advisors, participating in business student organizations and developing your professional readiness will all help you find your first internship. Create your Handshake account to get started with your search.

Finance and Commercial Law Events

For a complete list of career-related events, visit the Zhang Career Center calendar.

  • Finance Career Night: A night of networking for students pursuing internships and entry-level positions with a focus on finance. Hear from industry professionals representing different career paths in the finance industry, followed by networking. 
  • Student Organizations: Many professional organizations are open to all business students; some organizations are designed for finance, personal financial planning and business law majors, including the following:
    • Business Law Society
    • Financial Management Association
    • Financial Services Club
    Learn more about student organizations.
  • Competitions: Each year, finance and commercial law students represent the University at collegiate and industry case competitions, often earning accolades and prizes for their work. Testing skills against students from universities around the world helps WMU students showcase skills while identifying opportunities for further growth. Read more about the competitions available.

LINKEDIN PROFILES AND PHOTOS

All students should create a LinkedIn profile. Career and Student Employment Services offers a handy LinkedIn profile checklist and resources for getting the most out of social media.

  • Students should follow the WMU Haworth College of Business page for students, alumni, employers and friends of both the college and the Department of Finance and Commercial Law.
  • The college offers annual LinkedIn photo sessions for all business students to get a professional headshot for use on LinkedIn or for other purposes.