First-Year Students and the Career Center

Most first-year students do not arrive on campus thinking about how they can schedule an appointment in the Career & Professional Development Center (CPDC). And why would they? They have four years to make use of all of the resources and offices around campus. Still, Carnegie Mellon University is a unique place, and it does not take long for students in the first and second year to find and utilize services of the CPDC.

The CPDC Early Engagement Program begins outreach before students arrive on campus. Whether or not students arrive thinking about careers and internships, their career and professional journey is unfolding right alongside their academic journey. The earlier they start investing in their professional development, the more success they will achieve as they launch their careers after graduation.

This blog post outlines our programs and events designed specifically to engage students early in their college career, to help them become more aware of all of the resources and services that the CPDC provides, to help them begin developing their professional identity and to introduce them to employers and opportunities.

  1. CPDC 101

Unsure about what the Career and Professional Development Center has to offer? You can sign up for a CPDC 101 appointment in Handshake! You will meet with a Career Center representative who can answer any questions you have, and also introduce you to the variety of resources that are available to you as a student. 

  1. Career Launch

Career Launch is a series of online learning modules designed to introduce students to CPDC services prior to arriving on campus, and to provide basic career information. These modules, consisting of both text-based and video materials, present career topics in short, informative segments.  

  1. Careers for First-Years

Careers for First-Years is a program that aims to encourage students to start thinking about their career goals and planning how they are going to get there during their first year. Each freshmen residence hall has a Career Peer Mentor assigned to work with first-year students throughout the year. They will conduct programs to help students enhance their knowledge of resumes, cover letters, elevator pitches and other skills that are necessary when pursuing career goals.


cpms 2018

Career Peer Mentors (2017-2018)
  1. Take a Tartan to Work

Take a Tartan to Work gives students the opportunity to explore career fields by visiting a professional alumni at their business or organization for one day. This program provides students an invaluable opportunity to connect and network with professionals and alumni.

  1. Tartan Talks

Tartan Talks is the CPDC’s informational interviewing series. This program is geared to the undergraduate student who wishes to connect with CMU alumni and gather information about a job, career field or company culture.

  1. Internship Showcase

Internship Showcase provides students with the opportunity to connect with their peers to explore a broad range of internship possibilities. Students also learn what it takes to search for, acquire and make the most out of an excellent internship experience. Undergraduate students from a wide variety of educational backgrounds, ranging from the humanities to engineering, are on hand to discuss their personal internship experiences with top companies, government entities, startups, university labs and smaller organizations.


Internship Showcase 2018


  1. Jumpstart

Jumpstart is an early engagement event that allows freshmen and sophomores to connect with recruiters to network and discuss internships available at their companies.


Jumpstart (February 2018)


For more information about these programs and other resources available, visit the Career & Professional Development Center website.


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