World of Work (W.O.W.) Career Exploration



Experience first-hand the life of a professional! The World of Work (W.O.W.) Career Exploration Program is a one-day, full-immersion exploration program that exposes students to the world of work. The program will introduce you to professional work culture as well as career opportunities that relate to your interests and skills.

“The program was broken up into about 20-30 minute chunks and for each chunk we were able to shadow a different occupation. It was the perfect amount of time to see what they did and it kept the day from feeling drawn out”

Participating Student

How It Works

  • Complete an application (you will need to upload your resume as part of the application).
    • Need help with your resume? Stop by the Career Center during CareerLab (drop-ins) or schedule an appointment with a Career Advisor.
  • Select an employer and visit the CareerLab for personalized tips on how to make a great impression.
  • Spend the day at the worksite of your selected employer, exploring the world of work and meeting new professionals.

W.O.W. Timeline

  • Review participating employer information: Winter 2020
  • Application opens: January 27, 2020
  • Application due: March 9, 2020
  • Select desired employer: March 11 - March 13, 2020
  • Visit CareerLab for preparation information: March 9 - March 19, 2020
  • Confirmation details sent to participating students and employers: March 17, 2020
  • Explore the world of work at employer site: March 20, 2020

Important Things To Know


  • Ask A LOT of questions! This is a great opportunity to learn about various industries and interest areas as well as meet with professionals. Feel free to bring resumes as well (though this is not required).
  • This is a full-day immersion and you will be on-site from approximately 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Lunch will be provided.
  • Every organization has a unique culture and set of expectations. Please adhere to any required dress and/or visitor code(s) which will be provided in the confirmation details.
  • You are responsible for your own transportation to and from the employer site. Many sites are located on the GR Rapid bus route- fare is free with your GVSU student ID. If transportation is a concern, please contact the Career Center.
  • As a representative of GVSU, students will be held to the student code and Career Center no show policy.

Participating Employers

Please check back often as participating employers change daily.

In 1957, the two locations of the Electric Corporation of San Francisco became CONSOLIDATED ELECTRICAL DISTRIBUTORS, INC. CED has since expanded into a coast-to-coast network of sales and distribution warehouses with more than 600 locations nationwide. The CED management philosophy allows each manager to operate an independent business by remaining sensitive to local customers’ needs.  Managers are guided by the principles of “service, integrity and reliability.” 

Cintas Corporation helps more than one million businesses of all types and sizes get READY™ to open their doors with confidence every day by providing a wide range of products and services that enhance our customers’ image and help keep their facilities and employees clean, safe and looking their best. With products and services including uniforms, mats, mops, restroom supplies, first aid and safety products, fire extinguishers and testing, and safety and compliance training, Cintas helps customers get Ready for the Workday®.

City Year helps students and schools succeed. Fueled by national service, City Year partners with public schools in 29 urban, high-need communities across the United States. Diverse teams of City Year AmeriCorps members provide research-based student, classroom and school-wide supports to help students stay in school and on track to graduate from high school, ready for college and career success. 
*Note: This employer is based in Detroit.

Fifth Wheel Freight, LLC is a Third-Party Logistics service provider based in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids. In the five years since it’s inception Fifth Wheel has experienced tremendous growth and was named to the INC 5000 list of fasting growing companies. Fifth Wheel Freight has plans to continue grow and are looking to add quality candidates for a variety of positions

Hutchinson is a global supplier of automotive anti-vibration systems. These systems include powertrain mounts, cradle mount systems, and suspension components. Technologies include conventional mounting systems, hydraulic mounting systems and fully active systems. Hutchinson provides complete design and development capabilities for all anti-vibration systems and has a global footprint capable of supporting our customer’s needs in all regions of the world.

Pine Rest is one of the largest free-standing behavioral health providers in the nation. A nonprofit organization founded in 1910, the staff includes over 80 psychiatrists and doctors, 120+ psychologists, 250+ licensed masters-level social workers, and many talented RNs and Psychiatric Technicians who ensure only the best care is provided to our patients. Pine Rest offers inpatient hospitalization in our 225 bed hospital, outpatient counseling, addiction treatment and Community & Residential programs for at-risk youth, the homeless, and many more.

Sherwin-Williams is a global leader in the manufacture, development, distribution, and sale of paints, coatings and related products to professional, industrial, commercial, and retail customers. The company supplies highly-engineered industrial and OEM coatings for wood and general industrial, coil, packaging, protective and marine, and transportation applications worldwide. With a variety of rewarding and challenging opportunities, Sherwin-Williams is a great place to find a career that takes you places.

TGG Solutions provides customer-centered business solutions. We specialize in insurance, billing and enrollment services.  We listen to our customers’ needs and innovate solutions to help them expand their business. We have been an industry partner for over 50 years, gaining knowledge, experience and expertise. Our executive leadership team is committed to our associates’ growth and continuous education. We provide our associates with a culture of integrity, respect, courage, excellence, diversity, innovation and stewardship. 

There are lots of places to work, but few opportunities to do work that really matters. The Y is one of those rare places. When you join our team, you don’t just get a job – you’ll embark on an exciting path of career development. Not only will you have the chance to help children, youth and adults of all ages reach their potential, you’ll be making a huge difference in your community as well. No matter what role you seek, you can make a valuable contribution and help transform the lives of others. If you’re the kind of person that puts people first, leads by example and holds our values of being caring, respectful and responsible, you’re a lot like us and we’d like to meet you.

*Employer Listing Updated Daily