Certificate of Professional Development

Career & Professional Development and the Graduate School are excited to announce a pilot professional development certificate program. Beginning January 2019, graduate students at the Blacksburg campus will have the opportunity to earn a certificate of professional development. (See certificate requirements below.)

Interested graduate students need to enroll in the program by registering on Handshake; search for the event “Graduate Student Certificate of Professional Development”. After registering for the event, students will receive an invitation to join the Canvas course page where they will keep track of their progress and reflection throughout the semester.

Although this is a non-credit program, students who successfully complete the program and earn a certificate can include the award in their CV or resume and will be invited to an end of semester reception.

The program requirements must be completed by end of day April 26, 2019.


Attend at least two of the following professional development workshops.   

  • Career Fair Tips & Tricks
    Tuesday, January 29, 5:30-6:30pm, GLC Meeting Room F

  • International Student Career Paths
    Friday, February 1, 2:00-4:00pm, Newman Library Multipurpose Room  
  • Building a Winning Resume/CV
    Monday, February 4, 5:30-6:30pm, GLC Meeting Room F

  • Cover Letter 101
    Thursday, February 21, 5:30-6:30pm, GLC Meeting Room F

  • Interviewing Skills
    Wednesday, February 27, 5:30-6:30pm, GLC Meeting Room F

  • Negotiating a Job Offer
    Thursday, March 7, 5:30-6:30pm, GLC Meeting Room F

  • How to Manage Conflict in a Team Setting
    Thursday, March 28, 4:00-5:30pm, GLC Meeting Room C

  • Job Search Tips for International Students
    TBA, 5:30-6:30pm, GLC Meeting Room F

Attend at least one of the following professional development events.  

  • Career Outfitters
    February 1, 10:00am-3:00pm, Smith Career Center

  • Dining Etiquette
    Tuesday, February 12, 5:30-7:00pm, GLC Multipurpose Room

  • Speed Interviewing
    Monday, March 4, 5:30-7:30pm, GLC Multipurpose Room

  • LinkedIn Lab (LinkedIn reviews & free headshots)
    Wednesday, March 27, 2:00-5:00, GLC Lobby  

  • Attend any information session, panel, or networking event hosted by an employer (See a list of events on Handshake)

Business Horizons Spring Career Fair
Wed. Feb. 6, 2019

Construction Internship and Career Spring Fair
Mon. Feb. 11, 2019

CAMEO Career Fest
Mon. Feb 18, 2019

Connection: All-careers fair
Wed. Feb. 20, 2019

Destinations in Hospitality & Tourism Management
Thur. Feb. 21, 2019

School of Architecture + Design Career Day
Mon. Feb. 25, 2019

Civil Engineering Spring Career Fair
Tues. Feb. 26, 2019

National Capital Region Job Fair
During VT spring break - date TBD

RVA Spring Career Expo
Fr. Mar. 15, 2019

Property Management Career Fair
Thur. Mar. 21, 2019

SEC-ACC Virtual Career Fair: All majors & academic levels
Tues. & Wed. Apr. 2-3, 2019


Complete two of the following career planning tasks.

  • Meet with a career advisor who specializes in career development for your college. Appointments are typically 30 minutes and can be scheduled on Handshake. Below are the advisors designated to each academic college. Appointment topics are listed on Handshake and range from career exploration, to job searching, to salary negotiation, and even in-person mock interviews. The appointment topic is up to you based on your current career planning goals.

    College of Engineering:
    Claire Childress, Heidi Gilbert, or Alyssa Rametta
    College of Science:
    Katie Beach or Alyssa Rametta
    College of Natural Resources and Environment:
    Jonathan Byers
    College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences:
    Becca Scott
    College of Business:
    Liz Wilson
    College of Architecture and Urban Studies:
    Steven White
    College of Agriculture and Life Sciences:
    Leigh Anne Leist
  •  Complete a mock interview on InterviewStream, a 24/7 virtual practice interviewing platform made available to you for no cost. Upon completing the mock interview video, evaluate your interviewing skills using the rubric the website provides.

  • Visit the website of any professional organization in your field. Research the competencies that are critical for your field.

  • Make a LinkedIn profile that includes a professional profile picture, a headline, and a summary. Get feedback on your profile during drop-in career advising or at the LinkedIn Lab event (March 27, 2-5 PM in the GLC Lobby) and make revisions as needed.

  • Conduct an informational interview with someone in an occupation that interests you.