A program that helps students develop desired soft skills is partnering with Irvine Valley College (IVC) to teach students professional proficiencies needed before entering the Orange County workforce.
The Career Edge Workshop, hosted by the Greater Irvine Chamber, in collaboration with Google, Irvine Valley College, Webster University, Irvine, and the business community, bring students from Orange County colleges and universities together for development and professional growth. The career-readiness workshop series is designed to inspire, inform, and empower students as they prepare to enter the workforce.
The Career Edge program was created in response to a challenge that Orange County companies face: new employees who arrive with the knowledge and technical skills necessary but lack satisfactory business writing, presentation, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills. Workshops are facilitated by volunteer mentors and presenters from a variety of professions.
On October 6, Dr. Roopa Mathur, chair and professor in the School of Business Sciences at IVC, will lead the first workshop in the series, Effective Business Communication. This is the second year that Dr. Mathur will participate in the workshop, due to popular demand. She derives some of the workshop material from her course in business communication, and some material is developed specifically for the diverse needs of the audience attending.
“This workshop series is important because business communicators in today’s global work environment need to be able to create bridges across cultures,” said Dr. Mathur. “When you’re talking with a diverse group, you need to be cognizant of how an individual’s cultural background can influence how they receive and process information, in order to better understand each other and earn mutual respect.”
Students that participate in Career Edge have an advantage during their job search and will bring distinctive and marketable soft skills to the jobs they land, greatly increasing their on-the-job performance.
“If a student has a growth mindset, then they always want to become better than they are today,” Dr. Mathur said. “These workshops provide techniques that students can use to improve their marketability and help them grow in their career.”
The workshops will be held at the Greater Irvine Chamber on three Saturdays, from 8:30 am – 1:00 pm. Upon completion of an individual workshop, or the series, students will receive a certificate of completion, and a letter of completion/recommendation from the Chamber.
Career Edge is offered to students enrolled at any college or university located in or around Irvine. The workshops are free for all participants. More than 250 students have participated in the program since it began in 2015. Career Edge was named the 2017 Outstanding Program of the Year by the Western Association of Chamber Executives.
Students can register to attend one or all three events in the series. Register here.
The 2018-2019 series schedule is below
Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018 - Effective Business Communication
Instructed by Dr. Roopa Mathur, Chair and Professor, School of Business Sciences, Irvine Valley College
Learn the variety of business writing skills necessary to help you gain support for your ideas and express yourself appropriately and powerfully; learn how to effectively communicate and connect across generational, gender, age and cultural differences; learn how to listen in order to build opportunities and consensus; and explore situational use of multiple communication channels and technology platforms.
Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019 - Practical Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
Instructed by Dr. Brian Dozer, Director, Webster University Irvine Metro Campus
Learn the value of building critical thinking skills; learn how to apply these skills to individual and organizational situations and scenarios; explore the ethics and core values associated with decision-making; gain confidence in tackling problems, developing alternatives and assessing solutions and risk; improve your decision-making capacity.
Saturday, April 6, 2019 - Successful Business Etiquette and Workplace Behaviors
Instructed by Dr. Massiel Pérez-Calhoon, Manager of Community and Corporate Relations, Brandman University
Learn how to adapt and leverage your workplace environment; explore basic business practices, etiquette and those professional attitudes and characteristics that will define you; improve your ability to influence, perform and manage people, expectations and situations; navigate the demands and expectations of a fast-paced and evolving workplace; explore a variety of workplace cultures and test your abilities to adapt.