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Frequently Asked Questions

Career Development

Professional Experience

  • What are the Professional Experience Pre-Requisites?
    • Info session – Available online anytime
    • Resume review – Available with employers several times a semester or by appointment through the Center for Career Readiness
    • Mock Interview – Available with employers several times a semester or by appointment through the Center for Career Readiness
    • Earn 60 credits before applying
  • How do I sign up for the pre-requisite workshops?

    You can find the available pre-requisites on the Workshop Schedules Page. The information session is available online 24/7 but mock interviews and resume reviews require registration. If all available slots are full or it is Summer, you can request a 1:1 appointment with the Professional Experience Coordinator or a UNC Career Counselor through your UNC Handshake Account.

    You MUST forward confirmation of your attendance to MCB.ProfessionalExperience@unco.edu to earn credit for resume and mock interview workshops. Handshake only allows you to schedule one appointment at a time.

  • How do I choose between Professional Experience and Internship for credit?
    In general, you should choose internship for credit if you need additional business/university elective credits or if you want your internship to appear on your transcript. In general, you should choose Professional Experience if the above items do not apply to you. Watch the information session on the workshop page for more details on how to choose between the two experiences.
  • Do I have to complete a Professional Experience or Internship-for-Credit to graduate?

    All MCB undergraduate students except Software Engineering and International students are required to complete either an internship for credit OR professional experience. International students should reach out to the MCB Professional Experience Coordinator to have their Professional Experience requirement waived.

  • When should I complete my Professional Experience? 

    You can complete your Professional Experience anytime after you have reached junior status. It is strongly encouraged to complete your experience no later than your first semester senior year. Do your best to complete this requirement in its entirety BEFORE your final semester!

  • What happens if I don’t finish my Professional Experience before my expected graduation?

    You will not be awarded a degree until this requirement is met. 

  • Do I have to do an internship for the Professional Experience? What else counts?

    Internships are strongly encouraged but there are several other avenues to completing the Professional Experience hours. You might consider doing volunteer work at a local non-profit, taking on a specific new project at your current place of employment, or reaching out to UNC Departments that may need additional support.


    Internship: An accounting student attends Meet the Firms and makes a great connection with a recruiter. The recruiter encourages the student to apply for their Summer internship program. The student is accepted into the internship program, completes all of their Professional Experience pre-requisites, then reaches out to a faculty member to ask if they could take this internship for credit. They take the internship for-credit, which meets the Professional Experience requirement.

    Volunteer: A marketing student currently volunteers at the local animal shelter, caring for the animals. He reaches out to the volunteer coordinator and asks if they need any marketing support. Together, they create a specific project for the student to work on – planning, coordinating, and marketing a 5k to fundraise for the animal shelter. This experience is approved because it is related to the students area of study and involves close supervision from the volunteer coordinator.

    Special Projects: A management student works at a local flower shop as a cashier and stocker. She knows that her boss will be training new employees for the upcoming holiday season. She asks her boss if she could assist in training the new employees for her professional experience. Her boss agrees, but only 20 hours of employee training is currently scheduled. To make sure the hours are met, the student suggests her manager allow her to participate in other management tasks such as updating the employee handbook, creating the employee schedule, participating in business audits, making merchandise purchases, creating a business plan based on customer feedback, generating reports, managing payroll, and other management-focused tasks. Together, the student and her boss create a plan that includes 50 hours of management related tasks. This is experience is approved because it goes beyond the typical responsibilities the student has as a cashier/stocker, it is focused on management, and will include close supervision by the site manager.

    UNC Departments: A double major finance and management student has a great relationship with their UNC Soccer coach. She shared with her coach that she still needs to complete a Professional Experience and feels like she is cutting it close because she graduates next semester. Her coach recommends that she reach out to UNC Athletics, as they frequently accept finance, management, and marketing students to complete their professional experience hours. The student is able to do a dual experience, in which she is actively engaged in both management and finance with UNC Athletics. This experience is approved because it is associated with a UNC Department (not a club or student-run organization) and it involves close supervision from an administrator in the department.


  • How do I apply to the Professional Experience or Internship for Credit?

    You can apply for the Professional Experience through your UNC Handshake Account. Visit the Professional Experience page and select “Apply Now” for further instructions. You can apply for an internship for credit by visiting the Internship for Credit page, downloading the application on the right sidebar, and returning the completed application to your departments faculty internship supervisor. Your experience must be approved with the faculty instructor before you can register for the class.

  • What happens if my application is denied?

    If your application is denied, it means the experiences or forms you submitted did not meet the minimum requirements. You will receive feedback from your approvers so that you can revise and resubmit your application. If your packet was denied for a reason that you cannot change, you will need to find a new experience.

          1. Common reasons packets will receive a revise and resubmit: Missing contact information, misspelled email, minimum hours is not 50 hours or more, start or end dates occurred in the past.
          2. Common reasons a packet will be fully denied: Job position does not meet minimum emphasis requirements, job includes door to door sales, job is related to the marijuana industry, job is for an unlicensed or unregistered business, job is domestic in nature.


  • My Professional Experience application still says, "pending." When will it be approved?

    The Professional Experience Coordinator submits approvals multiple times per day when campus is open. If your experience is still pending, it most likely means your employer has not submitted their paperwork yet. Make sure your employer knows that they will get an email regarding your PE from Handshake and that their action is needed. Double check that you've entered your employers contact information into your application correctly. If there was an error in the email or your employer cannot find the email, email MCB.ProfessionalExperience@unco.edu

    The PE Coordinator CANNOT approve your experience until the employer paperwork is received. 

  • Where can I find the employer evaluations and student reflection?

    The employer evaluations and student reflection are sent out automatically via email from Handshake based on the term you selected. For example, if you selected "Spring 2022" as your term in your application, your employer will receive a mid-term evaluation in early March and a final evaluation in late April. If you need your evaluations sooner, you can email MCB.ProfessionalExperience@unco.edu to request they be sent at the time you want the email sent.


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