Western Michigan University's Zhang Career Center empowers learners to launch successful business careers by engaging them in innovative programming focused on professional readiness, while developing partnerships with global, regional and local leaders who hire students.
As pioneers in career readiness programs and experts in customer service, staff members in the career center strive to meet the needs of all students and employers.
Career readiness programming provides students opportunities to make professional connections that support their career goals. We work collaboratively with our faculty, staff and administrators to ensure that students work toward employability skills identified by The National Association of Colleges and Employers as most desired by employers. By gaining these skills, students have the competence and confidence to be successful in the business world and transition seamlessly from college to career.
Critical Thinking/Problem Solving: Exercising sound reasoning to analyze issues, make decisions and overcome problems. The individual is able to obtain, interpret, and use knowledge, facts and data in this process, and may demonstrate originality and inventiveness.
Oral/Written Communications: Articulating thoughts and ideas clearly and effectively in written and oral forms to persons inside and outside of the organization. The individual has public speaking skills; is able to express ideas to others; and can write/edit memos, letters, and complex technical reports clearly and effectively.
Teamwork/Collaboration: Building collaborative relationships with colleagues and customers representing diverse cultures, races, ages, genders, religions, lifestyles and viewpoints. The individual is able to work within a team structure and can negotiate and manage conflict.
Digital Technology: Leveraging existing digital technologies ethically and efficiently to solve problems, complete tasks and accomplish goals. The individual demonstrates effective adaptability to new and emerging technologies.
Leadership: Leveraging the strengths of others to achieve common goals and using interpersonal skills to coach and develop others. The individual is able to assess and manage his or her emotions and those of others; use empathetic skills to guide and motivate; and organize, prioritize and delegate work.
Professionalism/Work Ethic: Demonstrating personal accountability and effective work habits, (e.g., punctuality, working productively with others, and time workload management) and understanding the impact of non-verbal communication on professional work image. The individual demonstrates integrity and ethical behavior, acts responsibly with the interests of the larger community in mind, and is able to learn from his/her mistakes.
Career Management: Identifying and articulating one’s skills, strengths, knowledge and experience relevant to the position desired and career goals, as well as areas necessary for professional growth. The individual is able to navigate and explore job options, understands and can take the steps necessary to pursue opportunities, and understands how to self advocate for opportunities in the workplace.
Global/Intercultural Fluency: Valuing, respecting and learning from diverse cultures, races, ages, genders, sexual orientations and religions. The individual demonstrates openness, inclusiveness, sensitivity and the ability to interact respectfully with all people and understand individuals’ differences.