A Winning Career Takes Practice!

By Sarah Diaz, Director of Professional Development


Securing a winning career doesn’t just happen. It takes the proper preparation and practice to achieve high ambitions. Gaining career-related experience is essential to success and it begins as early as a student’s first semester at the University of Arizona. In Spring 2013, students from the Eller College, in collaboration with College leadership, identified the need to better connect Eller students with career-oriented opportunities and education before the onset of the professional phase of the Eller Experience.

Through the support of students, we have been able to implement an innovative Professional Development Center (PDC) that actively engages students in career planning beginning freshmen year. We have been able to provide customized and unique services specifically for pre-business and business majors by empowering a diverse student population that actively manages career choices in the global marketplace.

With highly personalized services, 85% of our graduating seniors achieve career outcomes at the time of graduation, and 90% of our juniors have internships. Student success is supported through the effort of our Career Coaching team. Career coaches offer professional development guidance to students by helping students identify and realize career goals through personal consultation. Career caches assist students in researching career paths and finding internship and full-time opportunities. They identify specific skills required for employment, help students obtain these skills, and support students in the application and interview processes. Career coaches connect current students with past interns and alums to create a pyramid of support for the student throughout the career search process. Our coaching team has qualified industry coaching expertise in marketing, management, finance, economics, accounting, management information systems, sales, consulting, banking, and graduate school planning.

The PDC encompasses not just full-time career coaches and staff, but also a team of student professional development associates (PDA) to assist through peer coaching and mentoring. With daily walk-in hours, our PDAs critique resumes and cover letters for students applying for professional admission, host interview skills workshops, and help deliver innovative marketing and promotional strategies to inform Eller students about internship and job opportunities. The PDA team, overseen by our Assistant Director of Employer Relations, also provides customer service to our recruiting companies and corporate partners through annual reporting.

Our mission is simple: Develop the best best-prepared job seekers and maximize their chances for success. The Eller Experience is about community and our business is people. We accomplish this mission through the efforts of our people: students, career coaches, PDAs, staff, employers, and alumni.

Bear Down and Suit Up!