Center for Career & Professional Development


The Center for Career & Professional Development values the partnership of families to encourage students in their professional development.

The Role of Families

In addition to encouragement, families can provide valuable resources to their job- and internship-seeking students in the form of connections with working professionals. Such introductions often make the difference to job seekers in competitive markets. 

Families should note, however, that while behind the scenes help and advice is valuable, active involvement in students’ job searches, such as contacting employers directly, accompanying students to interviews, and attempting to conduct salary negotiations directly with employers, will likely create barriers rather than opportunities for job-seeking students, who need to be perceived by employers as competent, independent adults.

The Center for Career & Professional Development values the career coaching model, which produces change and bridges the gap between where you are and where you want to be. It focuses on strengths, solutions, and actions. Some empowering career coaching questions families can ask students include:

  • Think of a time you are most energized. What are you doing?
  • If a miracle occurred and you could do anything you wanted, what “dream job(s)” have you considered?
  • If you knew you couldn’t fail, what would you do?
  • What will happen if you do nothing?
  • If you were to take one step toward achieving your dream, what would you do?
  • What have you already started to put in place to get where you want to be?
  • What could you do in the next 24 hours relative to your goals?

How Does the Center for Career & Professional Development Help Students? 

The Center for Career & Professional Development team encourages all students, from first-year to senior, to get involved with career development, a four-year process which complements students’ academic pursuits. In addition to numerous online and print resources, the Center hosts a wide variety of workshops and events throughout the year to help students develop skills and make contacts. Students can also meet one-on-one with a professional staff member for personalized advising and assistance. 

About 25-30 percent of SU students typically enter graduate and professional school programs within one year of graduation. The Center for Career & Professional Development provides general guidance and resources to students exploring graduate studies, in addition to the major-specific graduate school advising available through SU faculty. For more information on where our graduates go after graduating from Southwestern, please see our Post-Graduate Survey results we conduct annually.

Students who desire to pursue employment upon graduation can search for jobs and internships through a variety of online options, including SU’s online job board, HireSU. While employers do visit Southwestern for recruiting, the most powerful job search strategy for students is networking. The intimacy and personal touch of the SU experience provides important networking opportunities with alumni, parents, and other contacts.

Please do not hesitate to call us at (512) 863-1346 or email if you have additional questions!

On-Campus Recruitment

The Center for Career & Professional Development welcomes family members who are employers or who work for employers interested in recruiting SU students for post-graduate employment. To learn more about recruiting opportunities for employers click here.

Internships and Other High-Impact Experiences

Parents can be great contacts for current students and alumni interested in participating in an internship, research, or volunteer experience. If you and your organization would like to consider sponsoring an SU intern, please contact the internship team in the Center for Integrative Learning at

Special Rankings and Recognition

The Center for Career & Professional Development  is among the best in the nation. Learn more about our success stories here