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students and alumni

Career Development Center

Your future career awaits.

Cultivate your talent and polish your skills for the professional world with the Career Development Center, which offers a variety of services to both students and alumni. It’s never too early to begin thinking about your career. Finding a position to match your knowledge and desires is a process, which means you should begin your relationship with the Career Development Center as early as your freshman year to lay the groundwork for making you a valuable prospect for an internship, graduate school, or an employer.

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Internships and cooperative education

Supplement your classroom education.


With academic internships and cooperative education, you can earn money and course credit while gaining valuable experience related to your major and career goals. Ideally, it’s best to get started on the process up to six months before the intended term. Take the following steps to find and make the most of an internship or a cooperative-education (co-op) position.



Meet with a Career Development Center to learn about résumés, web and campus resources, interviewing, and dressing for success.


Search for opportunities.

Use Handshake and other websites to apply for positions. If you are a College of Engineering, Technology, and Computer Science student interested specifically in a co-op position (alternating full-time work with school), you must be preapproved. Complete the Preapproval Co-op Form.


Keep us updated.

Let our experiential learning coordinator know you’ve been selected for a position. To request academic credit, fill out the Academic Internships: Request for Academic Credit Form. Have your employer HR or supervisor complete the Hiring Agreement at least two weeks before your internship or co-op begins. Contact our experiential learning coordinator at [email protected] with any questions.



Schedule a 30-minute meeting with the experiential learning coordinator to go over details and requirements. You will be given department permission to register or may be enrolled in an appropriate course.


Get started.

Use your skills, work hard, and learn more. Don’t forget that the Career Development Center is always available to use as your resource.

Students at career expo


Search for your next step.

Handshake is our free, easy-to-use online system where you can find the perfect employment opportunity. No matter what type of position you are pursuing, the Career Development Center staff can help you match your skills and needs to the best-available position.

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Student Employment

Learn and earn in the same place.

Choosing an on-campus job means knowing your class schedule won’t interfere with your work schedule, enjoying a short commute, and developing professional relationships within the Mastodon community. It also means you’ll be valued, because at Purdue Fort Wayne we appreciate what our student workers bring to the university. Check out the opportunities available to you, including options for Federal Work-Study positions, by applying for an on-campus job through Handshake.

Career Readiness

How do you know you’re ready?

Career readiness is key to ensuring a successful entrance into the workforce. There are eight career-readiness competencies, each of which can be demonstrated in a variety of ways. Review the foundation of each competency, download the supplemental materials, and start finding ways to put your readiness in to action.

Proactively develop oneself and one’s career through continual personal and professional learning, awareness of one’s strengths and weaknesses, navigation of career opportunities, and networking to build relationships within and without one’s organization.

Sample Behaviors

  • Show an awareness of your strengths and your areas for development.
  • Identify areas for continual growth while pursuing and applying feedback.
  • Develop plans and goals for your future career.
  • Professionally advocate for yourself and others.
  • Display curiosity; seek out opportunities to learn.
  • Assume duties or positions that will help you progress professionally.
  • Establish, maintain, and/or leverage relationships with people who can help you professionally.
  • Seek and embrace development opportunities.
  • Voluntarily participate in further education, training, or other events to support your career.

Clearly and effectively exchange information, ideas, facts, and perspectives with persons inside and outside of organization.

Sample Behaviors

  • Understand the importance of and demonstrate verbal, written, and non-verbal/body language, abilities.
  • Employ active listening, persuasion, and influencing skills.
  • Communicate in a clear and organized manner so that others can effectively understand.
  • Frame communication with respect to diversity of learning styles, varied individual communication abilities, and cultural differences.
  • Ask appropriate questions for specific information from supervisors, specialists, and others.
  • Promptly inform relevant others when needing guidance with assigned tasks.

Identify and respond to needs based upon an understanding of situational context and logical analysis of relevant information.

Sample Behaviors

  • Make decisions and solve problems using sound, inclusive reasoning and judgment.
  • Gather and analyze information from a diverse set of sources and individuals to fully understand a problem.
  • Proactively anticipate needs and prioritize action steps.
  • Accurately summarize and interpret data with an awareness of personal biases that may impact outcomes.
  • Effectively communicate actions and rationale, recognizing the diverse perspectives and lived experiences of stakeholders.
  • Multitask well in a fast-paced environment.

Demonstrate the awareness, attitude, knowledge, and skills required to equitably engage and include people from different local and global cultures. Engage in antiracist practices that actively challenge the systems, structures, and policies of racism.

Sample Behaviors

  • Solicit and use feedback from multiple cultural perspectives to make inclusive and equity-minded decisions.
  • Actively contribute to inclusive and equitable practices that influence individual and systemic change.
  • Advocate for inclusion, equitable practices, justice, and empowerment for historically marginalized communities.
  • Seek global cross-cultural interactions and experiences that enhance your understanding of people from different demographic groups and that leads to personal growth.
  • Keep an open mind to diverse ideas and new ways of thinking.
  • Identify resources and eliminate barriers resulting from individual and systemic racism, inequities, and biases.
  • Demonstrate flexibility by adapting to diverse environments.
  • Address systems of privilege that limit opportunities for members of historically marginalized communities.

Recognize and capitalize on personal and team strengths to achieve organizational goals.

Sample Behaviors

  • Inspire, persuade, and motivate self and others under a shared vision.
  • Seek out and leverage diverse resources and feedback from others to inform direction.
  • Use innovative thinking to go beyond traditional methods.
  • Serve as a role model to others by approaching tasks with confidence and a positive attitude.
  • Motivate and inspire others by encouraging them and by building mutual trust.
  • Plan, initiate, manage, complete and evaluate projects.

Knowing work environments differ greatly, understand and demonstrate effective work habits, and act in the interest of the larger community and workplace.

Sample Behaviors

  • Act equitably with integrity and accountability to self, others, and the organization.
  • Maintain a positive personal brand in alignment with organization and personal career values.
  • Be present and prepared.
  • Demonstrate dependability (e.g., report consistently for work or meetings).
  • Prioritize and complete tasks to accomplish organizational goals.
  • Consistently meet or exceed goals and expectations.
  • Have an attention to detail, resulting in few if any errors in their work.
  • Show a high level of dedication toward doing a good job.

Build and maintain collaborative relationships to work effectively toward common goals, while appreciating diverse viewpoints and shared responsibilities.

Sample Behaviors

  • Listen carefully to others, taking time to understand and ask appropriate questions without interrupting.
  • Effectively manage conflict, interact with and respect diverse personalities, and meet ambiguity with resilience.
  • Be accountable for individual and team responsibilities and deliverables.
  • Employ personal strengths, knowledge, and talents to complement those of others.
  • Exercise the ability to compromise and be agile.
  • Collaborate with others to achieve common goals.
  • Build strong, positive working relationships with supervisor and team members/coworkers.

Understand and leverage technologies ethically to enhance efficiencies, complete tasks, and accomplish goals.

Sample Behaviors

  • Navigate change and be open to learning new technologies.
  • Use technology to improve efficiency and productivity of their work.
  • Identify appropriate technology for completing specific tasks.
  • Manage technology to integrate information to support relevant, effective, and timely decision-making.
  • Quickly adapt to new or unfamiliar technologies.
  • Manipulate information, construct ideas, and use technology to achieve strategic goals.

Professional Attire

Make an impression.

How you present yourself online and communicate with potential employers is crucial to landing the position you want. Our career counselors will help you craft a winning résumé, write a stellar cover letter, and create a strong online presence that will entice potential employers. Meet with us to get started on your professional prep journey—we’re here to help in any way we can. Make an appointment in Handshake, contact us at [email protected] or 260-481-0689, or stop by our office in Kettler Hall, Room 109.

Two students walk together and prep for an interview.
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Mastodon in the fall

Alumni Resources

Once a Don, always a Don.

As an alum of Purdue Fort Wayne, you have access to all the services and events provided by the Career Development Center, including career assessments, résumé and cover-letter reviews, mock interviews, career fairs, and access to Handshake. To utilize these services after graduation, contact the Career Development Center at [email protected] or 260-481-0689. Please note, if you graduated before 2018, you will also need to submit an alumni verification form to activate your Handshake account.