Wednesday, September 4, 2013

5 Professional Development Resources for Business Students & Alumni

Editor's Note: This is part 1 of a 4 part series where we discuss professional development opportunities for each college at WGU. This week's focus is the Business College. Stay tuned each week in September as we discuss resources for IT, Health Professions, and Teachers College. 

Whether you are currently employed in the position you desire or searching for a new position, it never hurts to keep yourself informed, educated, and up-to-date in your professional realm. Professional development is the on-going practice of attaining knowledge, skills, and practical experience to advance one’s career.

Here are 5 resources for professional development for business students and alumni. 
  • Professional Associations - Almost every occupation has a related nationwide professional association. These associations usually have a nominal membership fee which allows access to resources such as ongoing education, journal subscriptions, networking, job listings, and annual conferences/seminars. Find the professional association related to your occupation here or search the web for your desired professional association. 
  • Social Media - Effectively using social media can be a great, no-cost way to develop professionally. Join relevant occupational groups on LinkedIn and get involved in discussions. Follow thought leaders, industry experts, and news organizations on Twitter. Use Pinterest to generate creativity and brainstorm. 
  • U.S. Small Business Administration - Many business degree graduates pursue self employment by starting their own business. The U.S. Small Business Administration website provides resources, tools, and services for individuals looking to start their own business.
  • - The Entrepreneur website offers articles and resources on many business topics including start ups, technology, money management, marketing, and franchising. Even if you don't currently own a business or are not looking to start one, these resources can help you learn a new skill and keep you current on business topics and trends. 
  • SmartBrief - SmartBrief delivers free, targeted business news and information by industry directly to your inbox. You can subscribe to as many "briefs" as you'd like. Each email brief contains headlines and news relevant to the topic of your choosing. Topics include leadership, business, healthcare, travel and hospitality, retail, technology, finance, government/nonprofit, and more. SmartBriefs are an easy and efficient way to stay on top of industry news. 
WGU students and alumni can find more ideas for professional development on our website. Please add more ideas or resources for professional development in the comments below!


  1. I currently utilize three of these five resources (Professional Associations, Social Media, and the SBA), and the remaining two ( and smart-briefs) look interesting. I look forward to learning more about them.

  2. I look forward to exploring these resources more