Career and Professional Readiness

  • Two students in casual attire sitting in front of the Zhang Career Center sign in Schneider Hall.

    Zhang Career Center

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

  • Five students in professional dress smiling during the 2018 conference.


    Each year, the industry-leading Food Marketing Conference provides students with an opportunity to demonstrate professionalism and career readiness.

  • Three students working in the conference room of the Zhang Career Center during a workshop.

    Participating in workshops such as Bring Your "A" Game to Work helps students become career ready while fulfilling requirements for the SPuRS program.

Western Michigan University’s Haworth College of Business is dedicated to the 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 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.

Explore career pathways


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 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:

Jen Palmatier
Employer Relations Specialist
(269) 387-2729


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.

Food and consumer package goods Marketing OPPORTUNITIES

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

  • Career Night: This event is a professional development and networking event for students interested in the food and consumer package goods marketing industries. Attend a keynote address delivered by a professional and network with employers interested in hiring food marketing students. 
  • Food Marketing Association: An important part of the student experience is participating in student professional organizations. The Food Marketing Association offers networking opportunities, industry exploration, speakers and social opportunities. Learn more about FMA. 
  • Conferences: Each year the food and consumer package goods marketing program hosts one of the largest professional industry conferences available and invites students to attend conference sessions, join networking opportunities and attend luncheons that include keynote presentations. These conferences are another opportunity for students to refine career readiness skills while learning about the industry and meeting alumni and professionals in the field. Read about this year's event.
  • Competitions: Each year, food marketing students participate in the National Grocers Association university case competition, often earning accolades and prizes for their work and traveling to the NGA conference for the competition. Testing their skills against students from top university programs helps WMU students showcase expertise while identifying opportunities for further growth. Students also have time to networks with leading industry professionals and attend conference presentations.


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 Food and Consumer Package Goods Marketing program.
  • The college offers annual LinkedIn photo sessions for all business students to get a professional headshot for use on LinkedIn or for other purposes.