Career and Professional Readiness

  • A student is handing the Zhang Career Center assistant their resume.

    Zhang Career Center

    WMU business students have access to a multitude of resources to prepare for launching their careers.

  • A student is talking to a job recruiter at an event.

    Career Fairs

    Students attend career fairs throughout their years at WMU to find internships and land their first professional positions.

  • Students are working on computers.


    Participating in workshops help students become career ready while fulfilling requirements for the SPuRS program.

Western Michigan University’s Haworth College of Business is dedicated to career readiness. In fact, 9 of 10 business students are employed or in graduate school within three months of earning their degrees. Students participate in innovative curricular and co-curricular programs, working with career advisors, alumni and professors throughout their college experience to develop their professional skills.

The Zhang Career Center and the Student Professional Readiness Series 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.

Explore career pathways

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:

Zhang Career Center
(269) 387-2711


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.

Social Media

All students should consider using social media as a professional resource. Career and Student Employment Services offers a social media management guide.

  • Students should follow the WMU Haworth College of Business on LinkedIn to network with 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.