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CMU students talk at a Career Fair.

8 ways CMU develops careers

Career Development Center empowers students to be exploratory learners

Contact: Emily Stulz


Alicia Johnson wouldn't be starting her career with Macy's executive development program if not for Central Michigan University's Career Development Center.

Johnson, who graduated in May with a degree in fashion merchandising and design, found the mock interview she completed with the center useful during the process. "It gave me an invaluable opportunity to professionally practice my skills in an environment that was tailored to me."

With a recently updated mission statement focused on helping students become more purposeful as they explore their career options, the center's name change — from Career Services to Career Development Center — better reflects its purpose.

"It speaks to the whole process of why a student comes to a university," said Julia Sherlock, director of the center. "We want to help students with their own self-identity, so they can better articulate and identify where they want to grow to reach their career goals."

Here are eight ways students can benefit from the new Career Development Center:

  1. Explore your interests and talents — Complete a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator or one of the other many assessments the center offers. By taking time to explore your personal values, interests and skills, coaches can match you with a career path that fits your goals.

  2. Meet with a career coach — Career coaches are a great resource at any point in your academic journey. Spend time with them analyzing your assessment results or discuss how to create a well-crafted cover letter for your next job application.
  3. Log in to Handshake — Students can use their global ID to access Handshake, a job opportunity portal. Handshake can do everything from scheduling a meeting with a career coach to searching job postings from companies that want to recruit CMU students.

  4. Connect with a REACH peer advisor — Sometimes, advice sounds better when it comes from your peers. That's where the Recognizing Education Aspirations and Career Horizons Peer Advisors come into play. Have your résumé critiqued, connect with a full-time staff member or just get general career guidance from a friend.

  5. Find the perfect power suit — Visit First Impressions to receive one-on-one fashion consulting and free professional attire for interviews, job fairs and other professional events. First Impressions served more than 600 students in 2017-18.

  6. Prep for an interview — It takes more than a power suit to cure pre-interview jitters. Schedule a mock interview through Handshake, and after 45 minutes you'll walk away with a better understanding of the interview process and receive feedback on how to improve your skills.
  7. Network, network, network — The center often hosts events, allowing you to use the skills you've acquired. Attend a career fair or connect with an employer on campus through the Employer Spotlight program.
  8. Access all these services — for lifeThe best part of it all? All of these resources are available to any CMU graduate at any point in their career. Whether you need help refreshing your résumé or guidance on where to take your career, the Career Development Center is here to help. 

Visit the Career Development Center in Ronan Hall 240, Mondays through Fridays between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Utilize walk-in hours with the REACH peer advisors or schedule a meeting with a full-time staff member through Handshake.

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