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Career Development Resources

Dedicated student success and engagement professionals collaborate to teach career theory and to create meaningful opportunities for students to help them progress towards their career goals.

The University of Minnesota Rochester is committed to providing resources, services and developmental opportunities that support our student outcomes. 

Nearly all UMR students engage in the Rochester community. Many students engage through volunteer opportunities. 

Resources to Help Connect You to Your Community

  • Attend the UMR Involvement Fair during the first week of classes in the fall.
  • The United Way of Olmsted County offers a volunteer search feature that can help connect you to local needs. 
  • You can also search using Volunteer Match.
  • Watch for opportunities in the Raptor Report student e-newsletter.
  • Consider joining a Club. UMR student clubs often participate in volunteer and service opportunities in Rochester.
  • Take Community Collaboratory - CLI 2522, This course extends the student learning experience into the Rochester community, partnering with local organizations to analyze and approach community needs.
  • Activate your GoldPASS powered by Handshake Account. GoldPASS powered by Handshake is the University of Minnesota's professional job, internship, and volunteer database connecting students and alumni with employment opportunities throughout the world. GoldPASS powered by Handshake is available to students and alumni from all 5 campuses (Crookston, Duluth, Morris, Rochester and Twin CIties).

Examples of Past UMR Student Experiences 



Seasons Hospice

Direct, Indirect, and Bereavement Care

Family Service Rochester

Family Access Center Volunteer

Minnesota Teen Challenge

Administrative Support Volunteer

Boys and Girls Club


Women's Shelter

Childcare Volunteer

Paws and Claws Humane Society


St. Mary's Hospital*


Mayo Clinic*

Pediatric Volunteer, Hospice Center, Gift Shop, 

Office for Diversity in Mayo Medical School*


Juntos RCTC

Spanish Teaching Aide

Brighter Tomorrows


Gift of Life Transplant House*


Ronald McDonald House*


Hawthorne Education Center


National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

Mental Health Volunteer

Good Samaritan Dental Clinic and Pharmacy*


Rochester Center for Autism

Activity Planner

The Homestead at Rochester

Volunteer with an Occupational Therapist

Diversity Council


American Cancer Society Hope Lodge of Rochester*


Channel One Food Bank


* Indicates it is within walking distance of UMR

Engage and Reflect

Try keeping a journal as you participate in your volunteer experience. Reflective writing can help you create meaning and gain depth of understanding about what you are doing, why it matters, and how this experience will shape your future. You are encouraged to discuss these topics with your Student Success Coach. 

Example Reflection Questions:

  • What has been challenging? How are you being stretched?
  • What aspects of your experience energize you? What aspects deplete you?
  • How does the work you are doing connect to the mission and purpose of the organization? 
  • In what ways are your helping to meet the needs of your community?
  • Name the skills you are actively developing and take note of examples of when and how you used them.
  • How is the work you are doing connected to Health Sciences? How has your previous experience at UMR contributed to the skills you are using now?
  • What have I found to be the value of serving others as an undergraduate student?
  • What am I learning about myself and how might this experience inform that type of professional I would like to be?

The Career Spotlight Series provides an opportunity for UMR students to hear various perspectives related to a number of careers. These sessions focus on providing an understanding of the occupation and what it might be like to work as a professional in this field. Additionally, this format provides students with the opportunity to learn about the requirements and education needed for each career. Read the UMR Raptor Report for future Career Spotlight Series events.

If you have questions about these sessions or have ideas about partners to bring to campus, please contact Jenny Casper (

Recent Career Spotlight Series partners:

  • Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences - Medical Laboratory Science, Cytotechnology, Nuclear Medicine, Sonography, Radiography and Respiratory Care
  • Mayo Clinic's Medical Scribe Program
  • Des Moines University
  • Olmsted County Public Health
  • Mayo Clinic Surgical First Assistant Program
  • University of Wisconsin La Crosse Physician Assistant Program
  • Mayo Clinic Medical School
  • University of Minnesota Twin Cities Master's of Nursing Program
  • Mayo Clinic's Biomedical Engineering and Physiology Program
  • Northwestern Health Sciences University
  • Absolute Chiropractic
  • Mayo Clinic Research

Career fairs provide students with the opportunity to interact with representatives from multiple organizations. These events are designed for students to speak with a variety of individuals from specific programs, schools, departments or employers/organizations. Some even offer on-site interviewing. Career fairs can be both in-person and virtual. Students are able to learn about an organization’s culture and the different jobs they have available. Students should take initiative at these events to speak with individuals you’re interested in talking with. It is strongly recommended that you prepare questions in advance as well as research who will be in attendance.

Several virtual fairs can be found here.

While at UMR, students are encouraged to engage in the Rochester community. Students also gain valuable skills and experiences by pursuing internships, on and off-campus research experiences, and employment opportunities. Volunteering is also a great way for students to explore interests and contribute to an organization. Additionally, all UMR students develop career skills as a part of the curriculum.

Components of CLI 1712 Career Exploration and beyond

• Know yourself: strengths, interests and values

• Explore career options in the health sciences

• Conduct online career research

• Participate in career spotlight information sessions

• Engage in classes, student clubs and activities

• Discover volunteer opportunities

• Pursue leadership roles

Components of CLI 2713 Career Development and beyond

• Engage and test drive career options

• Practice professionalism and interviewing

• Create online profiles (LinkedIn & Handshake)

• Enhance resume and cover letter writing skills

• Build professional preferences

• Engage in decision-making and goal setting

Experience and Reflect
Components of CLI 2522 Community Collaboratory, CLI 3712 Capstone Proposal Writing & CLI 4713 Capstone Reflections and beyond

• Collaborate on impactful community projects

• Participate in networking events and career fairs

• Join professional organizations and gain employment experience

• Attend research and industry conferences

• Connect with faculty, advisors and mentors

• Pursue experiential learning (internships, on and off-campus research experiences) opportunities

• Study away

• Obtain additional skills or certifications

UMR students are engaged in their communities, both on and off-campus. With UMR’s focus on the health sciences, students are passionate about helping others and are often working towards applying to programs after their time at UMR. They seek to be leaders and contribute to organizations while gaining valuable experience.

UMR encourages employers to consider developing internship opportunities. The Director of Community Engagement and Career Development can work with you to determine whether the experience should be credit-based or not-for-credit. Internships can be both paid and unpaid.

GoldPASS powered by Handshake is the University of Minnesota system-wide job, internship and volunteer search engine. Employers are encouraged to use this system to:

  • Post jobs and browse for qualified candidates

  • Register for career fairs and events

  • Schedule information sessions

  • Set up on-campus interviews

If you are interested in sharing job, internship and/or volunteer opportunities with UMR students, please contact the Director of Community Engagement and Career Development, Jenny Casper at

To assist you in planning for your future career goals, find resources, including career planning sheets, related to specific careers and/or programs here.

Planning to pursue graduate school, pre-health programs or professional school after UMR? Consider taking CLI 3714 - Preparing a Competitive Health Professions Application. Your Student Success Coach can provide more specific details, help you plan out your timeline and share information on which experiences make a competitive applicant.

Several times a semester there are admissions representatives from various programs that visit the UMR campus. Sometimes these are as a part of the Career Spotlight Series and other times they might have a table set up in USquare. These are great opportunities to connect and better understand the admission process for professional schools. Read the Raptor Report to find out which schools will be visiting.

Student Success Coaches and outside partners provide workshops to help students better understand expectations within health care careers. Helpful information is shared on how to complete and prepare for the application process, including entrance exams. Past examples include Medical School Expectations workshops and Nursing School Options.

Use the following information to help guide you throughout the job and internship search process.

How can employment or jobs become meaningful experiences?
Work experiences that allow you to follow an interest, practice and develop your skills, and/or live out your values can help you explore your career options. Work experiences that help you engage and test drive your career options are about more than just making money. Check out resources such as CAREERwise education to explore careers. The U.S. Department of Labor also provides statistics related to various careers.

What is an Internship?
According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), an internship is “a form of experiential learning that integrates knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skills development in a professional setting. Internships give students the opportunity to gain valuable applied experience and make connections in professional fields they are considering for career paths, and give employers the opportunity to guide and evaluate talent.” Additional information, including participating in an internship experience for academic credit can be found on the UMR Internships and Off-Campus Research webpage.


  • Can provide you on the job training
  • Can introduce you to a new environment
  • Allow you to build relationships
  • Can be paid or unpaid

It can take up to 6 months to plan and secure an internship.

How do I prepare for job and internship opportunities?
As a part of the required BSHS curriculum, you will gain valuable information and experience related to networking, cover letters, resumes, interviewing and much more. Below are some additional resources that can help students prepare for job and internship opportunities:

Self-assessment Tools

Resumes, Cover Letters, & Electronic Portfolios
Resumes and cover letters are essential for finding the right career choice. For assistance on writing and improving your resume and cover letter, check out Marketing Yourself. Electronic portfolios continue to become more and more popular. If you are interested in developing an electronic portfolio, please visit Portfolium.

Job References
Job references are also an important piece of professional development. For assistance on how to select the appropriate references, check out Job References.

How do I find job and internship opportunities?
GoldPASS powered by Handshake is the University of Minnesota's professional job, internship and volunteer database connecting students and alumni with employment opportunities throughout the world. GoldPASS powered by Handshake is available to students and alumni from all 5 campuses (Crookston, Duluth, Morris, Rochester, and Twin CIties).

Below is a list of online tools and resources that can assist you in your pursuit to find job and internship opportunities:

Other Job Search Resources

Interviewing Tips and Tricks

Examples of Past UMR Student Experiences in Rochester




Disaster Cycle Services Data Collection and Reporting Intern 

American Red Cross

Pre-Physical Therapy or Pre-Exercise Internship


Writing Intern

Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation

Internal Relations Reporting Intern

American Red Cross

Internship (Paid)



Limb Lab and Prosthetics Laboratory


Part-time Employment




Charter House

Direct Support Staff                                                                     

Hiawatha Homes




Habitat for Humanity

Research Assistant

Mayo Clinic

Hospice Care

St. Croix Hospice

Pharmacy Tech

Costco, Walgreens, Target

Medical Scribe

Mayo, EPPA, Elite Medical Scribes 

Peer Support Staff


Mentorship can be a valuable opportunity for students to develop professionally. Currently, UMR students have the opportunity to participate in two mentorship programs with Mayo Clinic:

  • Pre-Med Insight

  • eMERGing Leaders MERG Mentoring Program

What is Pre-Med Insight?
Pre-Med Insight is a student-run initiative at Mayo Medical School, Rochester MN, which promotes early exploration in the field of medicine for college students of minority and disadvantaged background. Each intern pairs up with a Mayo medical student mentor and builds upon their longitudinal relationship for guidance, support and mutual learning. Interns also engage in clinical and surgical simulations, small group projects and discussions, skill-building activities and interdisciplinary interaction among peers, physicians, patients, faculty, staff and other professionals in the field.

Who is Eligible?
To be eligible, you must identify as a student of minority and/or disadvantaged background, including first-generation college students and students of family income below 200 percent poverty line (as defined by US Department of Health and Human Services). All qualifying University of Minnesota-Rochester students are encouraged to apply. As for program requirements, there are five mandatory Saturday workshops (first two sessions 9 a.m. - 4 p.m., last three sessions 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.). Transportation will be provided to the Mayo campus by your institution.

Approximately 15-20 students for this academic year will participate.

Other requirements include mentor-mentee interaction, small group community service project, and willingness to explore and challenge limits.

Tentative Dates

  • April 6, 2019: “The Next Step in Medicine” – Application Preparation, and Success

What should I expect?
Pre-Med Insight values low-stress and high-impact activities in a supportive environment that is student-driven, bias-free and open-ended.


What is eMERGing Leaders MERG Mentoring Program?
This is a year-long program between UMR and Mayo Clinic that aims to grow leaders and build their interest in Mayo Clinic. UMR students are matched 1:1 with a Mayo Clinic professional for a mentorship relationship. The matching process attempts to align the mentor/mentee around career interests when possible. eMERGing Leaders attend five-six programming opportunities related to networking and career preparation as a requirement of the program. eMERGing Leaders MERG is a part of Mayo Clinic's Employee Resource Groups (MERGs). These groups celebrate, support and encourage diversity among employees. Learn more here.

How many students are accepted?
Approximately 50 -100 students participate each year.

Ready to learn more?
Contact Jenny Casper regarding your interest and inquiries about eligibility and participation.

As an undergraduate student at the University of Minnesota Rochester (UMR), you can pursue opportunities to conduct research with UMR faculty or off-campus at one of our partner organizations, such as Mayo Clinic. Participating in research can help you develop technical and critical thinking skills, gain a deeper understanding of science by applying concepts learned in the classroom to real-world problems and help you prepare for graduate school, health professions or industrial research.

Discover research options below:

Directed Research or Directed Study Course Credit During the Academic Year
Working directly with faculty at UMR allows you to earn academic credit for your work. Students with little research experience can begin with the 1XXX level experiences as early as their first year at UMR. The more advanced coursework can be a good option for the student with more research experience. All research opportunities on campus start with identifying a faculty mentor. In addition to teaching, many UMR faculty engage in research on learning as well as their individual areas of interest. Research interests of individual faculty members vary. A good way to learn more is by reading the Faculty Bios and UMR Faculty Research and Publications. Experiences that students have completed with faculty in past semesters are listed here. Be thoughtful about what types of research and topics you are interested in, and which faculty members would be a best fit.

The Directed Study and Directed Research Form is due before you register for academic credit. You and your faculty mentor will work together on this form to define your research project, what you will do, and how it will be evaluated. This process takes time so plan accordingly.

  • Forms for summer or fall experiences are due April 15
  • Forms for spring experiences are due Nov 15

Special Research Student (SRS) Off-Campus Credit Experience During the Academic Year wiht Mayo ClinicUMR BSHS students may apply for Mayo Clinic Special Research Student appointments as early as the spring of their sophomore year. This opportunity is intended to provide meaningful research experience to students with an interest in research and to expose them to educational opportunities at Mayo Clinic for prospective candidates to the biomedical sciences PhD and MD-PhD programs. The experience is unpaid.

Students must:

  • Have at least one semester of research experience

  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0

  • Can dedicate at least 10 hours per week to the experience  

  • Plan to commit for a semester (or ideally one academic year)

Watch for details in the Raptor Report each October and February. If accepted, students do need to complete the form on the UMR Internships and Off-Campus Research webpage.

  • Applications for fall experiences are due March 25

  • Applications for spring experiences are due Nov 6

Employment Research Opportunities
Working hourly in a lab can be a great way to gain initial exposure, training and experience. Entry level work provides you with laboratory skills and allows you to see how labs function.

  • During the academic year:

    • These opportunities are often available to students with Work Study funds and are posted on the UMR Student Employment website. Search Off-Campus Opportunities to see entry-level research opportunities through Mayo Clinic. There may be On-Campus Opportunities with UMR faculty as well.

  • Summer:

Other Research Opportunities
As a UMR student, you can apply for an Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) scholarship to receive funding for a faculty-mentored research project. UROP facilitates undergraduate participation in faculty-mentored research projects on all U of M campuses. The program is flexible, allowing research study in any academic area University-wide.

Applications are accepted once in the fall and once in the spring.

Other opportunities:

UMR Raptor Research Fund
Current UMR students can complete the form to apply for research funds. Funds are available to cover expenses related to presentation of research/scholarship at conferences or similar. Highest preference will be given for travel expenses related to research/scholarly presentations followed by travel expenses related to data acquisition. Other expenses related to research or other scholarly activity would be considered only if funds permit and other sources have been explored.

Preference will be given to Juniors and Seniors. The size of the awards will be based on the number of applications and need. The form, once completed, will be sent to the Scholarship Committee for review.

NOTE: An adviser support statement is a required component of this process. An advisor can be a Principle Investigator (PI), UMR faculty, Student Success Coach, etc.