Skip to main content

The Professional Development Center

The Professional Development Center at Westminster College is here to help you identify and work towards your career goals and post-graduation aspirations. We offer assessments, resume review, mock interviews and more. Whether you are looking for assistance with finding your major, searching for opportunities to network with alumni, preparing for graduate school or landing that perfect internship, the Professional Development Center will help!

While some aspects of your future career plans are uncertain, we hope to help you make confident and informed decisions about your ability to showcase your experiences at Westminster College.

Plan for success. Take advantage of unexpected opportunities. Use our services as you experience different phases of the career preparation process.

Mission Statement


The Professional Development Center provides superior services to help students discern their academic and vocational interests. Through innovative programming, individualized support, and connections with the Titan Network of alumni and friends, students are empowered to lead lives of meaning, integrity, and success in the 21st century workforce.

Core Values


Professional Development Center staff members are committed to:

  1. Currency in research and best practices that support student’s vocational discernment and preparedness for a rapidly evolving workforce.
  2. Awareness of emerging trends across industries to inform planning, services, and resources.
  3. Experiential learning that allows students to explore and discover their career paths.
  4. Inclusive support of all students through innovative programming
  5. Students’ lifelong professional and personal development.
  6. Proactive and responsive collaboration with College and community partners to augment students’ professional development opportunities and vocational preparedness.

Areas of Distinction


The Professional Development Center will be distinguished by and assessed for services that lead to:

  1. Students’ career preparedness though personal assessments, individualized career counseling, transformative experiential opportunities and professional programming.
  2. Collaborative relationships that provide students with opportunities to explore career interests and to develop professional competencies that lead to vocational success.
  3. Strong peer-to-peer and alumni-to-student networks that build students’ professional competencies.
  4. Strong relationships with community and employer partners that create internship and career opportunities for students

  2019 Graduate Survey


Classroom to Career: Four Year Timeline


First Year:

  1. Join student organizations or obtain an oncampus job, and begin to document your achievements for a resume or e-portfolio.
  2. Activate your Handshake account to join an online community of alumni and employers, as well as to make appointments at the PDC.
  3. Find a summer job or internship in your field to explore a career and gain experience.

Sophomore Year:

  1. Seek out leadership roles on and off campus, and come to the PDC for help with updating your resume accordingly.
  2. Create a LinkedIn profile and join the TitanNetwork to connect with alumni andcompanies of interest.
  3. Participate in the annual spring Internship & Job Fair to network and search for positions in your career field.
  4. Attend PDC hosted workshops on resume writing, internships, and job search strategies.

Junior Year:

  1. Research potential internships and employers by networking with alumni and recruiters at the Professional Networking Symposium.
  2. Join We-Connect and work with a Westminster alum for academic and professional advice.
  3. Attend PDC informational programs, panels, and special events.
  4. Update your resume and e-portfolio beforeattending the Internship & Job Fair in the spring.

Senior Year:

  1. Begin your job search and participate in mock interviews and resume review workshops to prepare.
  2. Continue your We-Connect relationship from junior year and specifically seek advice to prepare you for life after college.
  3. Attend local job fairs: WestPACS and PERC, and network with alumni and employers at the Professional Networking Symposium and the Internship & Job Fair.
  4. Attend Senior Seminar in the fall, and Dine & Shine in the spring, to sharpen skills for your professional or academic future.

 

Testimonials

 

 

Explore Majors & Careers

Not all students know exactly what they want to major in and do after graduation! It’s ok not to know. Visit us early, and chat with us often – we’ll help you make sense of your interests and experiences and show you how they fit in to your path to success.

Here are some ways you begin to help sort things out:

  1. Self-Assessments

    Assessments: A self-assessment is a method used to help clarify relationships between your personal values, personality type, and professional interests. Assessments are a wonderful way to measure guiding principles that help define priorities in your life and career. We strongly encourage you to take assessments throughout your lifetime since values and interests may change over time in response to influential personal events. Listed below are several resources to use if interested in taking a self-assessment.

    Self-Directed Search: A career interest inventory that measures personal preferences that align with specific occupational fields or areas of study. To take the assessment, call the Professional Development Center at 724-946-7338 to schedule an appointment to take the inventory.

  2. Shadow a Titan

  3. Make an Appointment with a Counselor

Internships


Why Do I Need to Do an Internship?

  • An internship is the best way to gain real world experience in a career field of your interest.
  • With an internship, you can determine if a career field is a good fit for you. You’ll learn things about the industry and job functions that that cannot be taught.
  • Some internships lead to a full-time position within the same organization.
  • An internship looks amazing on a résume and will give you material to reference during an interview for a full-time position.

When Should I Get an Internship?

  • It’s never too early to do an internship!
  • Internships aren’t just during the summer. Plenty of them are during the school year.
  • The summer after your junior year is a crucial time and you should have an internship lined up for this period.
  • Ideally, try to have two internships before you graduate.

How Do I Find Internship Opportunities?

  • Find an internship on Handshake!
  • Informational interviewing! This step is critical and often overlooked. These are simply conversations with people – often people you already know or alumni- who work in your field of interest to gather information.
  • Using LinkedIn – a great way to find contacts that it is easier than you think. Use our guide to help you make the right connections.
  • Searching internship Websites.

How do I register for an internship?

  • Contact Jen Hough, Assistant Director of the Professional Development Center at houghja@westminster.edu or stop into the Professional Development Center on the 2nd floor on the McKelvey Campus Center.
  • Internship Guidelines

Internship Funding Opportunities


Class of '64 Intern Sponsorship Fund

Class of 1964 Golden Anniversary Celebration Class Project

This fund was established by members of the Class of 1964 as a gift to the College in honor of their Golden Anniversary Celebration in October of 2014.

Recognizing the value of experiential internship opportunities as a way for students to enhance their classroom study through the exploration of career options and acquisition of professional skills, and recognizing that in today’s working environment significant expense can be associated with high-quality internship experiences, the Class of 1964 has chosen to endow The Class of 1964 Intern Sponsorship Fund.

Income from this fund will be used annually to provide competitive funding for students who accept eligible, credit-worthy unpaid internships. The sponsorship is administered through the Westminster College Professional Development Center where an application process requiring a personal statement, resume and unofficial transcript is in place together with an established timeline for application submission.

Applications are reviewed by a committee of Professional Development Center counselors, Westminster College faculty and College administrators. Final selection is at the discretion of the Internship Coordinator.

Applications can be picked up in the Professional Development Center. Deadline for application is the 3rd Monday in April.

Fetters Intern Sponsorship Fund

Recognizing the value of experiential internship opportunities as a way for students to enhance their classroom study through the exploration of career options and acquisition of professional skills, and recognizing that in today's working environment significant expense can be associated with high-quality internship experiences, Mr. and Mrs. N. Craig Fetters, II have endowed The N. Craig Fetters, II '64 and Linda Wood Fetters '65 Intern Sponsorship Fund.

The sponsorship is administered through the Westminster College Professional Development Center where an application process requiring a personal statement, resume, and unofficial transcript is provided, along with a completed application.

Applications are reviewed by a committee of Professional Development Center counselors, Westminster faculty and administrators. Final selection is at the discretion of the Internship Coordinator.

One sponsorship will be awarded each year and the deadline is the 3rd Monday in April.

Please stop in the Professional Development Center for more information.

Suzanne Lilly Internship for Intellectual Disability Fund

Westminster College, in cooperation with the IM4Q grant coordinator, Dr. Gary Lilly, has endowed funds to support internships that benefit the mental health/intellectual disabilities population.

Income from this fund will be used annually to provide competitive funding for 1 student who accepts an eligible, credit worthy, unpaid internship in the mental health/intellectual disabilities area, with preference given to internships located in Western PA. The sponsorship is administered through the Westminster College Professional Development Center where an application process requiring a personal statement, resume, and unofficial transcript is in place together with an established timeline for application submission. The deadline is the 3rd Monday in April.

Please stop in the Professional Development Center for more information.

Dr. Christie and Ben Nelson Internship Fund

This Fund was formalized in 2021 by Dr. Christie and Mr. Benjamin Nelson in support of the mission of Westminster College to help men and women develop competencies, commitments, and characteristics which have distinguished human beings at their best.The liberal arts tradition is the foundation of the curriculum continually designed to serve this mission in a rapidly changing world.

This fund is awarded to enhance their classroom study through the exploration of career options and acquisition of professional skills, and recognizing that in today's working environment significant expense can be associated with high-quality internship experiences, Dr. and Mr. Nelson have chosen to endow The Dr. Christie and Ben Nelson Intern Fund.

Income from this Fund will be used annually to provide competitive funding for students who accept eligible, unpaid or underpaid internships, co-ops, and similar programs. The sponsorship is administered through the Westminster College Professional Development Center where an application process requiring a personal statement, resume and (if available) offer letter from an organization, company, nonprofit, NGO, or related stating pay amount (or lack thereof) and location of position. Applications are reviewed by a committee of Professional Development Center staff, Financial Aid Director, Westminster College faculty and College administrators. Final selection is at the discretion of the Professional Development Center.

All application materials must be complete and submitted by March 31 of each year. Please stop in the Professional Development Center for more information.

Resources

 

Handshake

Handshake logo

Handshake is the ultimate career network for students. It will become your one-stop-shop for launching your career.

Handshake offers many exciting new features, including:

  • Personalized job recommendations based on your major and interests
  • An easy way to register for and attend career fairs
  • Managing your on-campus interviews with top companies
  • Scheduling appointments with your career counsellors

Your profile is preloaded and ready to go. Click on the icon, fill out your profile and start searching for jobs and internships.

Once you have joined, please take a few minutes to view some short training videos.

 

LinkedIn logo

LinkedIn is your chance to make a strong first impression with networking contacts online. Your LinkedIn profile provides a snapshot of your qualifications to potential employers and networking contacts. Your profile is also often one of the first things that appears in a Google search for your name.

 

Upcoming Professional Development Center Events

 

November


Nov 1, 2021

12:00 PM

Internship Workshop
PDC, 2nd Floor MCC
Nov 3, 2021

12:00 PM

Job Searching with Handshake & LinkedIn
PDC, 2nd Floor MCC

 

January


Jan 24, 2022

12:00 PM

Take 5! Resume Review
PDC, 2nd Floor MCC
Jan 31, 2022

12:00 PM

Internship Workshop
PDC, 2nd Floor MCC

 

February


Feb 7, 2022

12:00 PM

Job Search with Handshake & LinkedIn
PDC, 2nd Floor MCC
Feb 9, 2022

12:00 PM

Take 5! School of Life & Health Sciences
Feb 14, 2022

12:00 PM

Take 5! School of Communication
Feb 16, 2022

12:00 PM

Take 5! School of Arts & Humanities
Feb 21, 2022

4:00 PM

Senior Seminar Series: Resume & Job Search
Berlin Lounge, MCC
Feb 24, 2022

11:00 AM

Internship, Job & Camp Fair
Feb 28, 2022

12:00 PM

Internship Workshop
PDC, 2nd Floor MCC

 

March


Mar 2, 2022

12:00 PM

Take 5! School of Music
Mar 7, 2022

4:00 PM

Senior Seminar Series: Preparing for the Interview
Berlin Lounge, MCC
Mar 9, 2022

12:00 PM

Take 5! School of Social Sciences
Mar 21, 2022

4:00 PM

Senior Seminar Series: Ask the Experts
Mar 23, 2022

12:00 PM

Take 5! School of Physical & Mathematical Sciences

 

April


Apr 4, 2022

12:00 PM

Internship Workshop
PDC, 2nd Floor MCC
Apr 27, 2022

8:00 AM

URAC