This fall, Southwestern University’s award-winning Office of Career Services has relaunched as the Center for Career and Professional Development (CCPD). The CCPD team supports SU Pirates as they shape their professional identities and develop 21st-century career readiness.

The CCPD will be supporting new professional-development initiatives for students. One such initiative entails increasing internship experiences so that SU undergraduates can build experience in particular fields and determine whether those career paths align with their individual interests and skills. An Internship and Employment Developer position is also being added to the CCPD team, which will expand access to such opportunities for students—including funded internships—by developing relationships with employers and organizing industry-specific programming.

Another initiative is the proposed new Professional Development Academy. This annual, multiday, conference-style event will introduce SU sophomores to lifelong career-management skills, such as effective self-marketing in resumes and interviews. Furthermore, the academy will assist students in expanding their professional networks by connecting them with industry experts as well as mentors in specific SU Career Communities.

Other expanded programming initiatives include Career Treks, experiences in which SU student groups will travel to various organizations, such as a proposed NASA site visit in January, to engage with employers behind the scenes or shadow professionals in the workplace.

In addition, greater self-assessment resources will be available for first-year students who are exploring both majors and careers. Pirates will also be able to take advantage of new drop-in advising as well as a new study space in the Center.

Students are invited to celebrate the launch of the new CCPD on Tuesday, September 25, 2018, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the first floor of Prothro Center. The kickoff event will feature various stations, from resume critiques and professional headshots to PirateConnect sign-ups and interview practice. Giveaways will include free food from Freebirds and free T-shirts.