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!

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

On this page:

Handshake has Replaced CareerConnect

handshake logo

Join Handshake!  The College of Natural Sciences Career Center is now on Handshake, the leading career platform used at over 400 colleges, and with more than 200,000 employers. 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 CNS Career Center recruiting events, career fairs, workshops and other helpful career resources.

Get started, log on, and complete your profile now.  If you need help with Handshake, this pdf can help you:

Handshake Getting Started Guide

Log in to Handshake to make a career advising appointment as well:

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

Career Advising

Need help figuring out what career path to take or what your next steps are? Want someone to guide you on how to write your resume or CV? Meet 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, 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.  Schedule a career advising appointment through Handshake.

Walk-In Resume Reviews with Career Peer Advisors

Have 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.

Build Your Skills with These Career Guides

Writing Your Resume or CV; Resume Samples; CV Samples

Cover Letter Guide

30-Second Elevator Pitch: describe yourself professionally quickly and effectively

How to Navigate a Career Fair

Job & Internship Search Checklist

Where to Find Internships, Lab Work, and REUs

Successful Networking

Building an Effective LinkedIn Profile

Interview Skills

Big Interview Training System

Learn how to interview, as well as record, play back, and score your responses to the most common interview questions, using Big Interview. Get tips for answering specific questions and explore a comprehensive video-training curriculum covering all aspects of landing a job or internship. Then practice virtual interviewing for dozen of industries, at all experience levels. Learn more with this Quick Start Guide to Big Interview.

Mock Interviews

Prepare for your job interview by scheduling a 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 a hard copy of your resume and a job description to your appointment, and remember to read our Interview Skills guide and practice first on Big Interview.

Database of Completed CNS Internships

On this CNS Internship Database, 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 survey.

Career Fairs & Professional Development Workshops

Bringing your A game to a career fair takes research and practice. Use this guide, How to Navigate a Career Fair, to 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 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, Friday, Sept 7, 11:00am-1:00 pm (with pizza) CNS Career Center (Morrill III, Room 215). Drop in and see what we offer you in career development and internship and job search.
  • Resume Writing Workshop, Tuesday, Sept 11, 5:30pm,  Location: TBD
  • Career Fair Prep Workshop, Monday, Sept 17, 5:30 pm, Location: TBD
  • Actuarial Fair, Tuesday, Sept 25 5:30-8:30, LGRT 1634
  • Isenberg Career Fair, Wed, Sept 26, 2018, 11-3, Campus Center lower level
  • Computer Science (Tech Jobs & Internship) Career Fair, Thursday, Sept 27, 10-3, Campus Center lower level
  • Engineering Career Fair, Friday, Sept 28, 10-3, Campus Center lower level
  • Networking workshop, Tuesday, October 2, 5:30, Location: TBD
  • Resume Writing Workshop, Tuesday, October 9 at 5:30, Olver Design Building, Room 162
  • Career Fair Prep Workshop, Thursday, October 11, 5:30 ,Olver Design Building, Room 120
  • BCT Career Fair, Wed, Oct 17, 10-3 Design Building
  • Life Sciences Career Fair, Thursday, Oct 25, 12-4 Campus Center lower level

Networking Opportunities

Network with alumni and industry experts who come to campus. Gain firsthand advice from professionals in your field. Use our Successful Networking guide to learn the basics on how to network before your next event. Create a LinkedIn account using our Building an Effective LinkedIn Profile guide, and learn how to build your network with UMass alumni. You can also connect with an alumna/us mentor in your industry from anywhere in the world using our online UMass Amherst Alumni Advisor Network.

Online Career Assessment Tools

Develop an accurate picture of your personal strengths, abilities, and interests using our interactive self-assessment online tools. Research careers compatible with your personality, academic preparation, interests, and skills. Use these UMass Central Career Services self-assessment tools and make an appointment with one of our Career Advisors to review this information to help you 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.