University of South Florida


Cristina Nunez, junior, gets some resume assistance from a peer counselor in the Tampa center.

USF junior Cristina Nunez gets assistance with her resume from Selin Yaylali, a graduate assistant and co-supervisor of the Career Peer program. 

USF Center for Career and Professional Development enhances student access to internship and career readiness opportunities

By Donna Smith, University Communications and Marketing

As part of several student success metrics, economic and workforce development outcomes place USF as one of the state’s top institutions in performance-based funding standings – data recently presented to the Florida Board of Governors. USF is working to enhance its career readiness efforts through the Center for Career and Professional Development, formerly known as Career Services, by assisting students at every point of their educational journey. The center provides services on all three USF campuses to help Bulls choose careers, find work experiences in their fields, secure jobs after graduation and take care of all the details in between. 

In addition to the name change and a new website, the center has enhanced and updated its many services ­– including career fairs that offer full- and part-time employment as well as internship opportunities. Some are geared toward a particular field, while others are more general with an array of employers, such as the upcoming event on Sept. 26

Services from the Center for Career and Professional Development don’t end at graduation, either. Alumni are invited to come back at any time to receive the same career assistance they were offered as USF students.

Check out all the ways that USF prepares students to become established in satisfying careers. 

Career Exploration

Many first-year students are unsure about what major and career they want to pursue when they arrive at USF. Other students may have a change of heart after beginning studies in their chosen major. The center provides several ways to delve into one’s options in order to make an informed decision regarding what career path is best for each individual. 

One way to explore career options is the Career Readiness Module – a brief introduction to some of the resources available at USF to help students choose careers and majors. As required by the State University System, first-year students must complete the module by the end of the spring semester. The module appears on first-year Canvas accounts, and reminders to complete the module are sent periodically. 

Chad Wallace hosts a workshop

Chad Wallace, assistant director for career development, hosts a workshop.

For students who would like a guided, one-on-one career exploration, highly trained career coaches are on staff to help them explore majors and careers that align with their interests, personality traits, social skills and values, then assist in planning a course of action so that when students graduate, they are set up for success. 

In addition to the Career Readiness Module, a wealth of resources is available on the website to aid in career and major exploration.

Finding Internships and Work Experiences

Real-world experience is invaluable to job seekers with new degrees, and the opportunity to work in a career field yields opportunities for networking and resume building. 

Handshake, a connecting point for students and employers, is a platform where students can post resumes, create profiles viewable by potential employers, apply for open positions, learn about upcoming career events and more. Students from all three USF campuses share one newly streamlined site, so any student looking for an internship, co-operative experience or any on- or off-campus job should be registered on Handshake.  

Students can also book appointments through Handshake to get help with all the minutiae of marketing themselves. Services include assistance writing resumes and cover letters, interviewing techniques and creating LinkedIn profiles – everything needed from the job search to salary negotiations once an offer has been received. 

Suiting Up

Adrian Cordova tries on a suit at Suit-a-Bull

USF sophomore Adrian Cordova tries on a suit at the Suit-a-Bull boutique.

When it’s time for a job or internship interview or career fair, a trip to Suit-a-Bull is a great way to find the perfect wardrobe additions. This small boutique in the Tampa campus’s Student Services building offers donated business attire to students ­for free. Previously, Suit-a-Bull items were for lending only, but beginning this semester, students can come in, try on clothing and keep as many as four selected items free of charge each school year. Clothing is also available for lending on the St. Petersburg campus.

Making a First Impression

A polished professional image can set an applicant apart from others. That’s why the Center for Career and Professional Development will soon install a photo booth in its lobby on the Tampa campus, where students can step inside and take headshots for their Handshake profiles, personal websites, social media sites or anywhere employers might find them. Students can also drop by the office at the St. Petersburg location, and a staff member will take their headshot most afternoons. 

Return to article listing