CNS Career & Professional Development Center

CNS is committed to helping students gain experiential learning opportunities and professional training to prepare for meaningful careers in the sciences.

Come to us to learn about field experience opportunities and strategies to increase your visible value to employers well before you graduate. Take your next step today to a fulfilling career in the sciences tomorrow!

On this page:

Join Handshake!

handshake logo

The College of Natural Sciences Career Center is now on Handshake, the leading career platform. Handshake allows you to find internships, jobs and co-ops, and to get personal recommendations of opportunities based on your interests, skills, major, location preferences, and search history. In addition, Handshake will tell you about all UMass Amherst recruiting events, career fairs, workshops and other helpful career resources. 

To Join Handshake, log in and complete your profile now.

Use these Handshake Tips when setting up your profile.

NEW: CNS Career Development Handbook

Career Development Handbook

This comprehensive new resource, written specifically for UMass Amherst CNS undergraduates, provides 56 pages of material vital to your career and professional development while at UMass.  No CNS student should be without this valuable resource.

Download Your Handbook today and keep it handy on your desktop as both a resource and a reminder of your commitment to success.  Sophomores with a CNS major should stop by the CNS Career Center for a free hard copy version.  The PDF version is available to all UMass students.

Career Advising

Make Appointment via HandshakeMeet one-on-one with a dedicated Career Advisor who specializes in the sciences. Get answers to your career-related questions, map the next steps on your path, improve your resume, and ensure that your academic planning and career planning are integrated. We can also show you how to do a targeted internship or job search.

Make a career advising appointment by logging in to Handshake and follow these steps:

  • Click on Career Center, then
  • Appointments
  • Schedule a New Appointment
  • College of Natural Sciences
  • Career Advising – CNS
  • Choose your appointment date and time

If you need additional help, use this guide: How to Make a Career Advising Appointment.

Walk-In Resume Reviews with Career Peer Advisors

Career Peer Advisors Group PhotoHave your resume critiqued or get answers to your basic career-planning questions from knowledgeable CNS Career Peer Advisors weekdays between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. in the CNS Career & Professional Development Center, Morrill III, Room 215.  No appointment needed!  Please bring a hard copy of your resume to your meeting.          Meet this semester's CNS Career Peer Advisors.

Quick Help for Frequently Asked Career Questions

How do I...

See the Top 10 Employers of UMass Graduates from My Major?

Know if I'm On-Track with my Career Development at UMass?

Find Internship and Job Opportunities on Handshake?

Learn About the Amazing Faculty Research Happening at UMass?

Get Hired To a Research Position on a Faculty Project at UMass?

Find a Work-Study or Other On-Campus Job Not Specific to My Major?

See Examples of Resumes for Different CNS Majors?

Write an Effective General Resume?

Write a Customized Resume and Cover Letter Targeting a Specific Job?

Write My CV (Curricula Vitae) and See CV Examples?

See an Example of a UMass Amherst CV?

Develop My Personal Brand and My 30-Second Professional Introduction?

Promote My Professional Value Through LinkedIn?

Prepare for a Career Fair?

Prepare for an Interview?

Big Interview Training System

Big Interview ButtonBuild your confidence, and prepare for any interview by answering real questions in real time, using Big Interview.  Practice virtual interviewing for dozen of industries, at all experience levels.  Get tips for answering specific questions, and explore a comprehensive video-training curriculum on all aspects of interviewing.  Record, play back, and score your responses to the most common interview questions in your field.            Download our Big Interview Start Guide.

Mock Interviews In-Person

Use Handshake to schedule an interview practice session with a CNS Career Advisor.  We provide field-specific interviews as well as individualized advice for how to be at your best.  Bring hard copies of both your resume and a job description to your appointment.  You can also read our Handbook section on Preparing for an Interviewand practice before your appointment with Big Interview.

Database of Completed CNS Internships

On this Database of Completed CNS Internships, you can see where your fellow students found field experience and research opportunities. Read student reviews of completed internships, at companies large and small, across the sciences, and get some ideas for where you can go next.

Please add your internship experience to the database by filling out this Student Survey.

Career Fairs & Professional Development Workshops

Bringing your A-game to a career fair takes research and practice. See our Handbook sections on Making Professional Contacts at a Career Fair and Dressing Professionally.  Then get ready to showcase your best self. There are many career fairs on and off the UMass Amherst campus, including the UMass Career Blast, held every February in the Campus Center, with more than 130 well-known companies in attendance. Check the Central Career Services Events Calendar for updates. We also offer smaller career fairs throughout the year, focused on life sciences, computer sciences, building and construction technology, engineering, and other STEM fields. Check Handshake for any updates.

  • Welcome Back CNS Career Center Student Reception, Drop in, Friday, Sept 7, 11:00am-1:00 pm (with pizza), CNS Career Center (Morrill III, Room 215). Drop in and see how what we offer including how to write a resume, and help with your internship and job search.
  • Resume Writing Workshop, Tuesday, Sept 11, 5:30 pm,  Location: Morrill II, Room 222
  • Career Fair Prep Workshop, Monday, Sept 17, 5:30 pm, Location:  French Hall 209
  • Actuarial Fair, Tuesday, Sept 25 5:30-8:30, Location: LGRT 1634
  • Isenberg Career Fair, Wed, Sept 26, 2018, 11-3, Location: Campus Center lower level
  • Computer Science (Tech Jobs & Internship) Career Fair, Thursday, Sept 27, 10-3, Location: Campus Center lower level
  • Engineering Career Fair, Friday, Sept 28, 10-3, Location: Campus Center lower level
  • Networking Workshop, Tuesday, October 2, 5:30, Location: Olver Design Building, Room 162
  • Resume Writing Workshop, Tuesday, October 9 at 5:30, Location: Olver Design Building, Room 162
  • Career Fair Prep Workshop, Thursday, October 11, 5:30, Location: Olver Design Building, Room 120
  • BCT Career Fair, Wed, Oct 17, 10-3 Location: Olver Design Building
  • Life Sciences Career Fair, Thursday, Oct 25, 12-4 Location: Campus Center lower level
  • Psychology Majors Career Fair, Friday, November 30, 11-1,Location: Marriott Room, Campus Center

Networking Opportunities

Network with alumni and industry experts who come to campus.  Gain firsthand advice from professionals in your field.  To learn the basics of how to network before your next event, see the Career Development Handbook's whole section on Networking.  Get tips on how to build an effective LinkedIn profile.  Learn how to find and network with UMass Amherst alumni from your major, and see their career paths from college to their current employers. You can also connect with an alumni mentor in your industry using the online UMass Amherst Alumni Advisor Network.

Online Career Assessment Tools

Develop an accurate picture of your personal strengths, abilities, and interests using the self-assessment tools at Central Career Services. Research careers compatible with your personality, academic preparation, interests, and skills. Then use Handshake to make an appointment with a CNS Career Advisor to review your results and to help you better focus your career interests.

On-Campus Recruiting

Many recruiters come to campus to interview UMass students. Apply online through Handshake and schedule your on-campus interview with one of the many employers who visit our campus year round.

Support for Recent Alumni

Receive the full support of the CNS Career & Professional Development Center for three months after your graduation date.  Recent CNS alumni can email Nessim Watson to schedule an appointment.  UMass alumni also have lifetime access to Handshake, as well as to a range of career development services provided by the Alumni Association.

Faculty: Collaborate with Us on Career Skills Workshops

Professors, would you like to collaborate with us to teach resume and cover letter writing skills specific to your scientific area in your classes? Or show your students how to develop their professional network, build their online presence, create a personal brand, dress for success, and gain confidence for interviewing? We can also show you the latest in online and offline job search methods. Let us know how we can work together. Contact Nessim Watson to set up a presentation.

Corporate Partnership Opportunities

The CNS Corporate Partnership program allows industry partners the opportunity to expand their recruitment efforts and presence on campus, with positive benefits for both their organization and for our students' career development. For information on joining the Corporate Partnership program, email Janet Bordwin, director of the CNS Career & Professional Development Center, or call her at 413-545-1545.

Name Office Contact
Photo of Janet Bordwin
211 French Hall
(413) 545-1545
Photo of Nessim Watson
Morrill III, Room 215
(413) 545-2238