Cougar Career Launch Offers Students Career Immersion


Ninety-five percent of employers agree: relevant experience plays an important role in hiring decisions.  For college students, gaining this experience in their field during their time at college is critically important to meeting the needs of employers and securing a job after graduation. At Chatham, we believe that early and frequent exposure to work environments is one of the best ways for students to start gaining this critical experience while learning about work expectations and environments in the fields they are considering. 

The Chatham Cougar Career Launch Program was developed to give new, first-year students the opportunity to learn about careers at a broad range of participating employers while also starting down the path of securing the experience they need for their career.  From a list of 13 local companies and organizations, students chose one where they spent about two hours touring the facility, visiting with employees, and participating in a Q and A session. Options included:

Allegheny Department of Human Services

  • Center for Organ Recovery and Education (CORE)
  • Eat n’ Park Hospitality Group – The Porch at Schenley
  • GTECH Strategies
  • The Frick Pittsburgh
  • Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild: Youth & Arts
  • Pittsburgh Cultural Trust – The Byham Theater
  • The Pittsburgh Pirates – PNC Park
  • The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  • ReMed Recovery Center
  • Touchtown: Resident Engagement Solutions
  • UPMC Sports Medicine – Rooney Sports Complex
  • YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh

Kendell Kerr, a first-year student majoring in molecular biology, spent her time with UPMC Sports medicine. “One of things I took away from the experience was that science and medicine lead to extremely beneficial careers,” she said."

"I learned just how important UPMC is in Pittsburgh, and worldwide. A career in medicine is an opportunity to be both innovative and helpful. During my trip to UPMC Sports Medicine, I met doctors and nurses who work one-on-one with the world's top athletes.”

“Visiting the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette showed me that while the basic structure of writing and editing is the same in major newspapers as in smaller newspapers, the process is much more precise and involved,” said communications major Ross Hsu ‘18. “They take it extremely seriously, and they still have fun, but every single person coordinates with one another. It's a huge collaborative process, and that's daunting, but exciting to think I'll be a part of in the future.”

Cougar Career Launch joins other initiatives geared to professional preparation, including the Chatham Plan, a five-step approach to post-school success. Learn more about career planning, internships and experiential learning, mentoring programs, and graduate and professional schools planning at the Career Development Office.