Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
About the College of Business Administration (CBA):
- Q: What is SCPD?
- A:The Student Center for Professional Development (SCPD) is a bridge between a student's academic life and career. We focus on helping students develop the professional skills and personal attributes most valued by prospective employers, by offering several different opportunities to complement CBA's academic training.
SCPD has been a valuable part of the College of Business Administration for over 20 years. Originally called the Business Minority Program, the center and its programs have evolved and updated to meet the changing needs of students entering the workforce in the second decade of the 21st century.
- Q: What programs does SCPD offer?
- A: SCPD programs were updated in academic year 2010 - 2011 to meet the changing needs of students entering the workforce in the second decade of the 21st century. The result of the update is a flexible umbrella program called Passport to Success (Passport). Passport is a two-year certificate-based professional development program available to junior and senior business majors or minors. It has four elements – the Business Professional Certificate (our workshop series), Community Scholars Program (our community service component), Junior Mentoring Program and Corporate Mentoring Program (individualized mentoring program focused on professional development and business connections).
The awarding of certificates is based solely on student fulfillment of the respective program requirements. Certificates are important because they demonstrate to a potential employer a student's commitment to self-improvement through participation in extra-curricular professional development activities. Students who successfully complete the requirements for each program receive each respective certificate at our Awards Banquet Ceremony, held in May of each year.
- Q: How will SCPD benefit me?
- A: All our programs were design to help students prepare for the business world, paying close attention to the development of the skills that employers seek in a job applicant. By participating in SCPD's programs, students will have the opportunity to develop, improve, and fine-tune their soft skills (i.e. communication, teamwork, leadership, negotiation, interviewing, ethics, etc.), attend networking events, connect with business leaders and make professional connections before graduation, and give back to the community. All those activities are extremely rewarding and great resume builders.
The benefits go beyond your time in school. Our Alumni Committee organizes events to bring together our past participants, and SCPD is constantly recruiting our alums to volunteer in our mentoring programs and as presenters in our workshops. We want our alums to stay connected with the office and give them the opportunity to engage with the college by providing meaningful experiences that can benefit both, student and alum.
- Q: How much time commitment will I need to be a member of SCPD?
- A: It varies, mainly depending on how much one intends to get involved. Students may participate in all our programs or only one; it is all up to each individual and how much they want to get out of SCPD. It is important to keep in mind that in order to receive the benefits of the programs, students must participate! There can be no benefit or recognition if the student signs up to become a member but never participate in any of the programs.
For those interested in more than one program (i.e. Business Professional Certificate and Mentoring Program), please be mindful of the time commitments required for academics, work, social events and other extracurricular activities (i.e. sports or student organizations). Each program requires a specific time commitment, and students are responsible for ensuring that their activities are properly recorded in their Passport and in the SCPD office in order to be eligible for a Certificate.
- Q: How do I become a member of SCPD?
- A: The first step is to complete the online application, which should take a few minutes. The form will give the office a snapshot of the student's background and professional experience, as well as the expectations for the program. By filling out the application form the student is automatically enrolled in the Passport to Success and the Business Professional Certificate, and can start attending our professional development workshops. Each SCPD member receives a passport, which lists every step of our programs. The pages in the Passport will reflect "where the student has been" in the program, and it is your way to keep track of your progress.
- Q: How/where do I sign up?
- A: To become a member of SCPD, visit our website and click on "Join SCPD today". For the mentoring and community service programs, please stay tuned for email announcements, flyers, Facebook posts, and updated information on our website.
- Q: What makes me eligible for SCPD?
- A: SCPD is open to all CBA students (majors and minors) who have junior or senior status and a minimum GPA of 2.0
- Q: Is there a minimum GPA requirement?
- A: All members of SCPD must have a 2.0 GPA; however specific programs and awards have different GPA requirements. Please visit our Program Applications page for details on specific requirements of each program, and the SCPD Awards page for the GPA requirements.
- Q: Does my membership ever expire?
- A: Your membership will never expire while you are a student of the College of Business and in good standing with the university.
- Q: Is there a membership fee or event fee?
- A: There is no membership fee, SCPD programs are sponsored by grants and donations. We try to raise money to cover the costs of the events we organize for our members, to avoid charging for the participation.
- Q: What is the passport for?
- A: The passport that every member receives when they become members of SCPD lists all workshops and the different programs available to our members, and serves to keep track of ones' progress on each program. For example, after a student attends a workshop, he/she completes an online survey, and then can have the passport stamped to keep track of workshops attended. The same is true for the mentoring program; the stamps on your passport refer to obligations fulfilled.
- Q: Do I need to bring my passport to the workshops?
- A: Not necessarily. The check-in process at our workshops are all electronic and you will need your student ID to check in (just the number is fine). As you swipe or enter your ID at the check in station, you will receive an email with a link to the online survey. Upon completion of the survey, students may come to the office (CBA-126) to get a stamp on their passport.
- Q: What if I don't receive the link to the survey?
- A: Upon check-in, should you not receive an email with the link to the survey, it will be available for review and completion (after each workshop you attend) under the "Surveys" tab in your Advisor Connect Account.
- Q: What kinds of workshops are there?
- A: Currently SCPD offers a total of 20 different topics related to business professionalism and soft skills that will benefit any job applicant and employer. For a complete list of the workshops and a description of each, visit our workshop page.
- Q: When are the workshops/what time?
- A: Workshops are offered every spring and fall semesters (please note workshops are not offered during the winter or summer breaks). We understand that our members might have a schedule conflict at any given semester, so we always alternate the days in which the workshops are offered. Ultimately, the dates and times are based on the presenters and room availability. The time preferred by our presenters is 5:00 p.m. as it works best with their schedules.
Our goal is to make our workshop schedule available prior to announcement of class schedules, to allow our members to plan ahead of time for the workshops they are interested in attending. Although we strive to keep the schedule consistent, our online calendar will always have the most updated information on events and times. Be sure to always check our website for any schedule changes.
- Q: Who presents the workshops?
- A: Our workshops are presented by business leaders and professionals with expertise in the topic covered. For more information on the presenters, click on the title of the workshop on our calendar page. Most presenters are actively involved with SCPD's mentoring programs and Advisory Board and committees.
- Q: Do I have to go to every workshop?
- A: We offer our workshops every semester (fall and spring) in alternate days (i.e. workshops offered on Tuesdays during the spring semester will be offered on Mondays or Wednesdays on the fall). In case students have a schedule conflict they can always plan on attending the workshop next semester.
- Q: How many workshops do I need to attend in a semester?
- A: There is no minimum workshop that a student must attend in any given semester. However, the Business Professional Certificate is awarded to students who successfully fulfill the requirements of the program, which is completing 70% of the workshops (14). SCPD offers every workshop every semester to make it easier for students to complete the certificate, however students can pace themselves and work on the certificate for as long as they are attending CSULB. Usually, students take no more than two years to complete the program requirements and earn their certificate.
- Q: Do I get credits for being a part of SCPD?
- A: Participating in SCPD and its programs is voluntary and extra-curricular. Students do not receive academic credit for participating in our programs and events, however some instructors might give students extra-credit for participating in specific workshops. Please note that this is at the instructor's discretion and we do not guarantee any extra-credit for students' voluntary participation.
- Q: What is the dress code for the workshops?
- A: Casual attire is acceptable at our workshops, however for other specific events (networking, mixers, etc.) SCPD will require students to dress in business professional attire, but we will specify when that is a requirement.
- Q: If I have class, how late can I be to the workshops or can I leave early?
- A: Students must keep in mind that arriving late to any function is considered rude, and something to be avoided. The purpose of our programs is to prepare students for the business world, and accepting a behavior that is not tolerated by an employer would definitely send mixed messages. Please keep that in mind and should you be more than 15 minutes late for a workshop, plan on attending it on a later date. The same is true for those who cannot stay for the entire presentation as the presenters divide the workshop into sections. However, should it be absolutely necessary, always let the presenter know before the beginning of the workshop, and never leave without explaining your situation.
- Q: Where can I find the list of workshops and dates?
- A: The office always have copies of the semester's schedule available to students, so you can stop by anytime to pick up a copy, or email the office (email@example.com) and request a soft copy. However, in case of any last minute changes, we highly encourage students to visit our website and check out the calendar.
- Q: How much time do I have to complete the workshops?
- A: Students can decide on their "pace of achievement" and work on the Business Professional Certificate for as long as they attend CSULB (as business majors or minors). We do offer all 20 topics every semester, so technically it is possible to complete the certificate in one semester, as it requires 70% - or 14 workshops be completed to be awarded the certificate.
- Q: Can I substitute any workshops? Does SCPD give credit for workshops offered by other organizations?
- A: Students can substitute one workshop for community service/volunteer work, attending Ethics at the Beach (usually offered in November), or when he/she is registered on CBA-493 (internship course).
Also, some topics offered by SCPD are also offered by other organizations, and students may receive credit for those events. Be sure to see the program coordinator to determine whether the event you attended can be "transferred" and counts towards your Business Professional Certificate.
- Q: Do I have to participate in all programs? Can I participate in more than one at once?
- A: Participation in SCPD and its programs is voluntary; therefore no student is obligated to participate in all our programs. However, all the opportunities made available to you were carefully design to help you improve your resume and provide with real life experiences and professional connections before you graduate.
Most of our members participate in more than one program (i.e. Business Professional Certificate – aka workshops – and Community Scholars) at the same time. It all depends on how much time you have to commit to more than one program.
- Q: What is the Community Scholars program? Does it count as a workshop?
- A: The Community Scholars is SCPD's community service program, where we select a group of students to mentor high school sophomores. SCPD selects and trains the students in the fall semester, but the program kicks-off in the spring with the first visit to the school. Since this is a group mentoring setting, this program offers our members the opportunity to hone their teamwork, presentation, and communication skills.
The Community Scholars is an independent program and can substitute one workshop in our Business Professional Certificate.
- Q: How can I apply for the Community Scholars?
- A: Application season opens in the beginning of the fall semester, at SCPD's Open House. Please check our website and social media sites frequently for information on dates to apply and instructions on how to fill out the application.
- Q: I am interested in volunteering, but do not want to be a mentor. What other opportunities are available?
- A: SCPD offers only one volunteer program, the Community Scholars. If a student is interested in other community service opportunities, we suggest you contact the Center for Community Engagement (CCE), which offers opportunities for CSULB students to get involved and give back to the local community.
- Q: What is the difference between the two mentoring programs offered by SCPD?
- A: Starting in the spring of 2012, SCPD added a new mentoring program to its umbrella - Passport to Success – focused on assisting our junior members, the Junior Mentoring Program. The JMP is a semester-long mentoring program where our students are paired with a young professional. The mentors are alums from the College of Business, and the focus is on assisting the students to better prepare for their senior year, focusing on activities that will build up one's resume and how to balance academics with a job, social life, volunteer, etc. Participants in this program will be able to learn firsthand from a recent graduate who is starting his or her career the dos and don'ts of how to successfully navigate the workforce.
The Corporate Mentoring Program is offered to seniors in their last year at CSULB. This program starts in the fall and ends in the spring (even if the student still has one semester left to finish his or her degree). Our Corporate Mentors are more seasoned professionals with a longer career-track that can show the mentees the path taken in building a successful career. The focus is on transitioning from college to career, character building, and making professional connections. Participants in this program are expected to attend certain events – with and without their mentors – aside from the individual meetings. For more information on the events and the program, visit our website.
- Q: Can I participate in both mentoring programs?
- A: Yes! Students participating in our Junior Mentoring Program can apply for the Corporate Mentoring Program. It is a great way of networking with business professionals of all levels and learning different perspectives from these professionals.
- Q: What are the requirements to participate in the mentoring programs?
- A: Each program has specific requirements; please visit our website for detailed information and how to apply. Keep in mind that our Corporate Mentoring Program requires students to submit a resume, cover letter (stating why you would like to participate) and a recommendation letter (from faculty or employer).
- Q: How can I apply for the mentoring programs?
- A: Application for the JMP opens at the beginning of every semester and they are fairly short, given the high level of interest and limited spots in each "cohort". If you are interested in this program, please check our website and social media sites frequently for information on application season and instructions on how to apply.
The CMP accepts early application beginning April 15th 2013. Pairings are not finalized until the beginning of the fall semester when SCPD holds the Kick-off Mixer for CMP mentors and students.
- Q: What internships does SCPD offer?
- A: Although SCPD does not offer internships (nor can we guarantee placement to any of our members), our director is also directing the internship efforts for the College of Business Administration. CBA is working closely with corporate and community partners to bring a variety of quality internship opportunities that will offer our students a valuable professional experience that complements their academic training. One of such efforts is the new Molina Healthcare Internship Program, a paid internship opportunity with a very successful local company. Applications for the next cohort will be announced soon!
CBA's internship website is constantly updated with new opportunities, so be sure to visit it regularly. Also, students may wish to visit CSULB's BeachLINK web page for possible internship opportunities. On average there are over 400 internship postings on BeachLINK daily by employers.
- Q: I am an MBA student. Can I become a member of SCPD and participate in the programs?
- A: Although SCPD's programs are mainly designed for undergraduate business students, we always extend the invitation to non-CBA students (and MBA candidates) to attend the workshop (on a space-available basis). However, participation in our mentoring programs is reserved for CBA majors and minors only due to the high demand. Also, should non-SCPD members be interested in community service, we highly encourage them to contact the Center for Community Engagement to learn more about their volunteering opportunities. Finally, for those students about to graduate, SCPD and CBA offers many ways to keep them connected to the school. CBA Alumni & Friends is a newly formed group to support the needs of business professionals in the alumni community. Visit the website to learn more about their opportunities.
- Q: Does SCPD offer assistance with resumes?
- A:Yes, SCPD offers several workshops that can help students better prepare for job or internship searches, effective networking, how to make your resume stand out, and interviewing. Also, mentors in our mentoring programs can give students valuable advice on how to create a strong resume. Our director has developed a very useful guideline document to help students create their resumes; a copy should be available in your profile in CBA's Student Success System (under the "resources" tab).
One very important section of your resume, in which SCPD should be listed, is the "Leadership/Involvement". This section shows a potential employer your extra-curricular involvement and your willingness to go above and beyond your duties, and your commitment to developing yourself as a business professional, a leader, and engaged citizen. If you need assistance with how to best feature your participation in SCPD or any other organization, please contact the office for more information or to schedule a resume consultation at firstname.lastname@example.org.