Letter from Our Executive Director
From the day a student enrolls at Widener University, Career Design and Development is the one-stop destination for learning-based career exploration and professional development. Operating from a strengths-based philosophy, we guide students through a deep process of inquiry and hands-on skills cultivation, providing them with the lifelong ability to connect their passions with work that is both meaningful and economically sustaining. Reflecting the University’s central missions of civic engagement and leadership, we empower students to become the leaders of their own destinies.
Introducing Jobscan Premium
Click on the Jobscan icon below to gain access to your free Jobscan Premium account. Use your Widener email address to register your new account. You can also scroll down to find videos to help you get started.
Jobscan is a powerful tool that analyzes your resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile against specific job and internship descriptions. More than a keyword matching platform, Jobscan uses artificial intelligence to read between the lines of a job description to uncover the skills and attributes that employers are looking for. Jobscan Premium gives job seekers access to an unlimited number of resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn Profile scans in an effort to help you “beat the bot”. Jobscan users have experienced a 2.3% increase in LinkedIn profile view, 3x more interview, and 47% less time job searching.
Videos to Help You Get Started
Please take a moment to watch our welcome video and visit our YouTube Channel to access more on-demand career resources.
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Encouraging Student Work Experiences
Deciphering Between Internships/Co-Ops and Externships
Widener students have outstanding opportunities to gain career experience before they graduate. It might seem a bit confusing since there are multiple ways to access hands-on work, but – not to worry – there are many supports in place to lead students in the right direction.
Co-op programs allow students the opportunity to work for payment within their academic interests, without paying tuition while they are on the experience. The Career Design & Development Office oversees the co-op program that is open to all students within the School of Business Administration, School of Engineering, and Computer Science/Computer Information Systems programs within the College of Arts & Sciences.
Internships and externships vary considerably by academic department and are overseen directly by faculty in the relevant departments. Although the Career Design & Development Office can help students prepare for a search, students should consult with their faculty advisor for insight into available internship and externship opportunities, whether required or optional.
Unlike co-ops, which are nearly always paid and are full-time, externships and internships are work experiences that may or may not be paid or offer academic credit. Internships provide professional development experiences either on a part-time basis during an academic semester (generally less than 10 hours per week), or during a student break, especially summer break, where hourly requirements are wide ranging.
Externships vary greatly based on context. Some are brief job or graduate program shadows conducted during student breaks to gain clarity in career exploration. For example, the Career Design & Development Office oversees a winter break externship program called Widener Works for College of Arts & Sciences and exploratory studies students. In contrast, the School of Nursing externship experience can be significantly longer and more intense. Students should talk with their advisor to learn more.
Summer internships that are offered for low or no pay should still be an option for students who, for financial reasons, need to be paid for summer work. The Experience More! program at Widener enables students in majors that typically offer unpaid or low-paid internships to receive funding from the university. This new program is made possible by generous donors.
Many employers develop hiring pipelines directly from pools of former interns, externs and co-op students, both because these students understand the organization’s products or services and they have already demonstrated a good fit with their culture.
“Families can help by encouraging their students to talk about their goals and interests,” said Janet R. Long, executive director of the Career Design & Development Office. “Just as with full-time jobs after graduation, so much of career preparation is about networking. Emphasize the importance of attending career events right on campus — employer information sessions, career fairs, resume workshops, etc. Don’t wait until senior year to focus on your next steps after college.”