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 can help 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 and professional development of students that results in 9 of 10 graduates working or in graduate school quickly after earning their degrees. 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.

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 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 not only offer critical experience, 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.

Marketing opportunities

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

  • Marketing, Sales and Food Marketing Career Night: This event is a professional development and networking event for students interested in marketing and sales careers. This event is designed as a career fair with opportunities for students to secure internships or professional positions. 
  • Student Organizations: An important part of a business major experience is participating in student professional organizations. Numerous groups offer networking opportunities, industry exploration, speakers and social opportunities for marketing students.

    Many professional organizations are open to all business students; some organizations are designed around particular majors, including the following:
    • AdClub
    • American Marketing Association
    • Digital Marketing @ WMU
    • Food Marketing Association
    • Sales and Business Marketing Association
    • Supply Chain Management Association
    Learn more about student organizations.
  • Competitions: Each year, marketing students represent the University at regional, national and international case competitions, often earning accolades and prizes for their work. Challenging skills against students from universities around the world helps WMU students showcase their expertise while identifying opportunities for further growth.


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

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