Where will Mizzou Take You? Five Ways to Develop Career Readiness

The National Association of Colleges and Employers defines career readiness as “a foundation from which to demonstrate core competencies that broadly prepare the college educated for success in the workplace and lifelong career management.”

It also identifies eight career competencies that employers look for during the hiring process: career & self-development, critical thinking, equity & inclusion, leadership, professionalism, teamwork and technology. Through seeking to improve and demonstrate competencies in these areas, students can make themselves stand out to employers.

Here are five opportunities at Mizzou that can help you learn and demonstrate some of these competencies:


Mizzou has over 600 registered organizations. These include Greek life, club sports, honor societies and clubs focused on art, culture, religion, service and much more. In addition to providing community on campus and a space to explore passion, clubs also provide potential leadership opportunities. They can demonstrate competencies in career & self-development, teamwork and leadership. They can also help you explore potential careers in a lower-stakes environment than a job or internship.

To get involved, browse organizations through MU Engage or set up a meeting with an Involvement Ambassador who can connect you to organizations based on your interests. Additionally, go to involvement fairs at your school or college to connect with people in those organizations.


The Undergraduate Research department has many opportunities for students to participate in jobs and internships during their time at Mizzou. These can be done over the summer, during the academic year or both, and there are many options for arts and humanities students as well as STEM fields. Participation in research demonstrates competencies in critical thinking, teamwork and technology. To start your research journey, start by looking through the available jobs and internships offered by the undergraduate research department.

Study Abroad

Mizzou offers study abroad programs in more than 50 countries, with about 250 programs to choose from. These programs may involve coursework (online or in partnership with a local university), service, internships, fellowships and more. Participation in these

programs will count toward credit for your degree and expand your global awareness and involvement. This can build your competencies in equity & inclusion, self-development and much more. To explore Mizzou’s many study abroad programs, check out the options on its website or attend one of its many educational events throughout the year.

Alternative Breaks

Mizzou Alternative Breaks is a service-based program that partners students up with communities in need across the United States and abroad, to serve instead of a traditional academic break. This includes Thanksgiving, Winter, Spring and Summer breaks. The program is entirely student run, in terms of staff, leaders and executive planning, so there are many opportunities to help in both a service and leadership-oriented role. They also offer weekend service to integrate volunteering into your daily academic life. These programs demonstrate leadership, equity & inclusion, professionalism and teamwork. To apply to participate, check out its 15 areas of service and stay on the lookout for applications and check the ‘join a break’ section of its website for currently open opportunities.

Minors and Certificates

There are around 150 options for minors and certificates at Mizzou. Since you’ll already need to fill elective spaces, why not target them towards something that will compliment your major and indicate a wide range of skills? Minors are usually 15 credits while certificates are usually 12 credits. If a topic interests you and compliments your major, consider tailoring your electives to fit the requirements. This demonstrates competencies in career development and professionalism. Look through majors.missouri.edu to browse options, and talk to your advisor about how to synthesize a minor with your degree.

There is no shortage of opportunities at Mizzou to expand your skill sets and explore your passions. Before going into the workforce, take time to do what you love now – not only will it impress employers, it will give you chances to learn more about yourself in the process.