Buff Works illustrationBuff Works projects are learning in action and provide students with hands-on experiential learning projects. Students apply their education and put their skills and knowledge to work in real-world projects. Career Services creates teams of students from across campus and pairs them with companies to complete projects.

How it works

  • Projects are six to eight weeks long (Feb. 6–April 14) with real companies.
  • Each student commits 30-40 hours (or more) to complete their project.
  • The hours worked are often flexible and most projects will be entirely remote.
  • Students do not need to have groups established ahead of time.
  • Projects are unpaid but provide great value in other ways.
  • You will have support in the form of pre-skilling options, research resources and staff for additional questions.

  • Market research
    Collect, analyze and interpret data and information about consumers that a company may be interested in.
  • Competitive analysis
    Identify a company’s competitors and evaluate their strategies to determine strengths and weaknesses in comparison.
  • Content creation and communications
    Identify topics and then plan and develop written or creative content for a company, potentially including blog articles, website text, emails, marketing materials, brochures, videos, presentations, infographics, grant applications and more. 
  • User experience testing
    Trial, critically analyze and provide useful feedback on a company’s practices, designs and/or communications in order to improve their services or products. May also include surveys and observations of individuals and consumers.
  • Business research
    Find, evaluate and communicate data, information and insights for a business on a specific topic or field. This may include a type of product or service, a way to improve business communications or best practices for operations.
  • Idea generation
    Create, develop and communicate new thoughts or concepts that can help a business improve and meet their strategic goals.
  • DEI strategy evaluation
    Analyze and provide feedback on a company’s practices to help them cultivate a productive, engaging and inclusive workplace culture for their employees and/or customers.

  • Must be an undergraduate student with a GPA of 2.0 or higher. 
  • All participants must complete an application. Completed applications do not guarantee placement in the program.
  • Students must commit to maintaining professionalism in communicating with companies and program administrators. 
  • Each student is expected to spend at least 30 hours on their project, including attending meetings with the company and their project team.
  • Project teams must submit a report and/or presentation of their project to the company.
  • Participants must submit an evaluation of their experience at the end.
  • Unfortunately, due to the short duration of these projects, they won’t work under CPT guidelines so international students won’t be able to work due to Visa restraints.

  • Sharpen your resume
    Internships and jobs often require that students have practical work-based experience already. Project work like this can be a stepping stone toward future opportunities and will be a strategic addition on your resume and in cover letters.
  • Learn about yourself
    Students report that work-based learning significantly helps them assess their own interests and skills. 
  • Build skills
    Skills are the currency of tomorrow’s workplace. Make sure you’re ready by developing and refining skills today. 
  • Meet people and grow your network
    Create connections with companies, fellow students and current professionals through these real-world projects.
  • Empower yourself
    Gain the confidence you need to succeed in professional roles.
  • Be supported
    You will have support in the form of pre-skilling options, research resources and staff for additional questions.