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Professional Development

Audit Classes at University of Wisconsin Schools

One way to expand your intellectual knowledge and develop a new skill or competency would be to continue taking classes for credit or to audit courses, here at UW-Eau Claire or another institution. Auditing allows an individual to participate in a class (at a lower cost) without earning credit. Contact the Registrar's Office at UW-Eau Claire for further information on auditing.

Graduate/Professional School

Another way of furthering your career, or making a career change, is to attend graduate or professional school. Deciding to attend graduate school requires significant preparation, from researching and applying to programs, to determining how you will finance your degree. The UW-Eau Claire Career Services website offers some excellent information regarding graduate studies which will help you started.

Graduate School Exploration Course (Gen 260)

Graduate School Exploration (Gen 260) is a one-credit course developed specifically for Student Support Services participants. This course takes students through the entire graduate or professional program search and application process. Topics include building credentials, requesting letters of recommendation, composing the personal statement, and investigating funding possibilities. This course, which is typically offered in the fall, is primarily intended for current program participants, but is also open to SSS students who have already graduated. For further information, contact SSS Advising Coordinator Laura Rubenzer.

Professional Associations

Joining professional associations improves your ability to get ahead in your career, as it enables you to network with other professionals in the same profession or industry. Quintessential Careers offers a great deal of information on professional associations in your career field at the national, regional, or local levels.

Volunteering/Experiential Learning

Another valuable way to gain new skills, knowledge or expertise is through experiential learning or volunteering. These experiences can be particularly beneficial if you are thinking about changing careers or fields. A volunteer or experiential learning experience gives you a direct hands-on opportunity within a particular field, industry, or profession. You will also be able to network with professionals, which is critical if you are thinking about changing careers.

Professional Conferences and Workshops

Industry conferences and workshops can be significant professional development opportunities. Offered by the professional associations involved with a particular profession or field, these activities occur at a local, regional, national, and international level. Attending professional conferences and workshops is a great way to learn "best practices" in your field, as well as network with other professionals. The Internet Public Library has assembled a comprehensive list of professional associations/organizations. After finding associations that are well suited for you, search those associations' websites to learn about upcoming conferences and workshops.

UW-Eau Claire Continuing Education

Yet another excellent resource for professional development, re-certification, and more is the Continuing Education office at UW-Eau Claire. Continuing Education offers a wide range of workshops, conferences, and classes for personal enrichment as well as professional development.

Find a Professional Mentor

Career mentors offer advice and guidance in navigating one's profession of choice. They also offer encouragement and might even push a little when needed. Mentors may simply lend us their ears and give us advice when we need to talk about career issues with someone other than our supervisor, co-workers, friends or family. The Quintessential Career website offers some insights into the value of a mentor and how to find one.

Ask an Expert

Do you have unanswered questions? Contact Laura Rubenzer, Career Development Coordinator for Student Support Services, with your inquiries.