for students by Career and Professional Development
Our staff in Career and Professional Development are here to help you with career-related questions and topics. We look forward to speaking with you. Advising appointments can be held in person, by Zoom, or by phone.
- Career and Professional Development (CPD) provides career-related advising appointments to Virginia Tech undergraduate and graduate students.
- CPD advising is open to alumni within two years after graduation.
- Alumni who are two years past graduation should see Alunmi Relations career resources.
- If you are unable to schedule an appointment through Handshake, or don't see the appointment option you need, please call us; our reception staff are happy to assist you, and sometimes a direct conversation is helpful to both you and us.
- Advising is offered by Zoom, phone, and in person.
- In-person appointments are held in the Smith Career Center. However, if you have any cold symptoms or are not feeling well, call us and change your appointment to virtual, or reschedule.
- The Virginia Tech Ready site provides information about health and safety for the university community.
- Even when masks are not required, students and our staff who wish to wear masks are welcome to do so.
- 30 minutes for most appointments.
- 15 minutes for mini-appointments (undergraduates only; for resume reviews and quick questions). If you need more time, you are welcome to schedule a 30-minute advising appointment.
- 60 minutes for career-exploration follow-up (after initial 30-minute appointment).
- For graduate students, we also offer 60-minute appointments.
- Practice interviews are 30 minutes for undergraduate and master's level students, and 60 minutes for Ph.D. students.
- You'll see the options when you schedule an appointment in Handshake.
- Fifteen minutes goes by quickly! And your advisor has to be on time to speak to the next student after you.
- Mini-appointments are for quick resume reviews, quick cover letter reviews, and other very brief advising.
- There is not ample time to explain how to write a resume, so see our resume guide and reference list instructions in advance.
- Ditto for a cover letter, so see cover letter guidelines before you seek a review.
- Have your document ready to view when your appointment starts.
- Of course you are welcome to make another appointment for another review after you make edits.
- Some common questions that students ask are answered in our Career Q&A Today quick videos by our CPD advisors, and might help answer your questions, or be a good start before an appointment.
- For better service to our students, and for safety, there is no drop-in advising offered by CPD at Smith Career Center.
- Offered pre-pandemic, drop-in did not provide an appointment, did not guarantee advising, and caused unsafe overcrowding.
- In 2020, mini-appointments replaced drop-in, as a better service model.
- If you need to cancel your appointment, you must either call us 540-231-6241 or cancel online using Handshake.
- Please don't schedule casually and cancel at the last minute. An appointment is time given to and held for you, and therefore is not available to another student who needs assistance. Thank you for respecting your commitment.
- No-showing for an appointment leads to confusion; your advisor is likely to wonder if you are safe if you do not attend your appointment; and this applies to virtual appointments. Your advisor has prepared and is ready and waiting to speak with you. If you realize you cannot attend an appointment, contact us to cancel, as explained above.
- No-showing is effectively stealing an appointment timeslot from another student who could have been helped.
- It's important for you to know that employers view students who no-show for appointments and interviews as unprofessional and as having stolen the interview timeslot from someone else. We sincerely do not want you to make mistakes of that kind. We want you to put your best self forward as you apply for jobs, internships, and graduate school. Employers and admissions staff expect professional, responsible conduct; if we did not tell you that, we would be remiss in our commitment to give you honest advice. If someone tells you it's okay to no-show, that person is not giving you good advice. You know this if you have had someone no-show on you. Practice being well-organized and plan for delays so you establish habits to be a reliable person who keeps your commitments!
CPD advising can cover these career topics and more:
- Self-assessment and exploring careers and majors
- Seeking experience during college, including internships and cooperative education
- Seeking post-graduation employments, including job search skills and stragegies
- Federal job & internship search
- Developing professionalism skills for success in the workplace.
- Planning for graduate or professional school
- Having a practice interview
If you are uncertain if we can assist you with your topic of concern, please call us. Our staff will help determine if you should talk with us or consult another office on campus.
- Scheduling in Handshake will show your options. Whom you meet with could depend on your topic, your college, and whether you are an undergraduate or graduate student.
- Possibilities include:
- An advisor who serves as a liaison to your college.
- Additional advisors who meet with students in your college.
- An advisor who specializes in a topic or program.
- Graduate students might meet with an advisor who works specifically with graduate students.
- In 15-minute mini-appointments for undergrads (for resume reviews, class assignments, and brief conversations), you usually speak with a peer career advisor.
- We also have advisors who serve as liaisons to other VT populations and offices. If you would like to talk with an advisor who is a liaison to a population group, please call us to schedule by phone.
- If, for any reason, you would like to talk with a specific advisor and you can't see how to do that on Handshake, just call us to schedule by phone. For example, if you met an advisor who held a workshop, and can't find a way to schedule an appointment with that advisor on Handshake, give us a call.
If you are considering a profession that requires graduate or professional school, we are happy to advise you, and we encourge you to read:
Virginia Tech provides additional pre-professional advising:
- Health Professions Advising (HPA) for pre-medical, pre-dental, other health professions. HPA personnel are also part of our CPD staff.
- Pre-law advising
- School of Education provides pre-education advising for teaching and school counseling.
- Pre-veterinary advising available through:
Health Professions Advising (HPA) in CPD, and
Virginia-Maryland Coll. of Veterinary Medicine
In addition to seeking CPD advising, also be aware:
- Many academic major departments and colleges provide career information, resources, and advising for their students. Look at your major and college websites.
- And see: Career and internship advisors who work in and for colleges and majors
Career Q&A Today are quick videos by our CPD advisors that might answer a question you have.
CPD is not authorized to advise on academic course requirements. Please take advantage of university resources provided for your academic advising needs: