[Image retrieved from sbu.edu]
By Kelly Haberstroh
As the EDGE prepares to start up for its second year, the Career and Professional Readiness Center (CPRC) decided to make some changes to the program. In comparison to last year, they plan to have more interactive and hands-on seminars with more opportunities to practice the skills they’re learning how to improve.
The EDGE is an opportunity for sophomores, juniors and seniors to have an advantage when applying to internships, graduate school and the workplace. The CPRC started the program last year after students who went into internships and jobs found that, while they had a great foundation, they were lacking some professional skills.
Students are taught professional communication, networking, interviewing, personal branding and professionalism as a part of the EDGE. By the end of the required six hour seminars, students said they were more prepared and more confident when they went into interviews and internships.
At the end of the program last year, the CPRC held a ceremony where students received a certificate to commemorate their success in the course, in addition to a portfolio of the work they completed. The president also of the university wrote a letter of endorsement and accomplishment to each student. Both of these will be continued this upcoming year.
According to Marie Wilson, career counselor for the CPRC and EDGE coordinator, “It was a huge success. Overall, a lot of students achieved what they were hoping for with this program. Close to 97 percent of 75 students who participated thought it was helpful and would refer it to a friend or classmate. They felt it increased their confidence and they felt more prepared.”
The students who took part in the program last year said it was better than they expected and less of a time commitment than they thought.
“I found the resume workshops extremely helpful, and my improved resume actually helped me to earn an internship in Spain over the summer,” said Haylei John, junior international studies and Spanish double major.
For students who had scheduling conflicts, the CPRC tried their best to be diverse with dates and times.
“We offered seminars multiple times, so that students who missed one due to a scheduling conflict would have another opportunity to benefit from it,” said Wilson.
While the program was successful, some students said there was more that could be done to improve for this year.
“I wish the EDGE program offered more interactive activities students could learn from,” said Shannon West, a junior journalism and mass communications and English double major. “I found the seminars to be helpful because the tips they taught gave me some insight on who I am as a worker and how I should improve myself to better prepare for the future.”
The EDGE Program is hosting a kick-off event September 15 at 4:30 p.m. in the Hall of Fame room for those who have registered. During this event, the CPRC will give an overview of the program, make students aware of the requirements and provide the schedule of seminars.