Walking across a college campus throughout the year, you might notice that at some point the many campus involvement fliers are swapped out for those promoting career fairs and resume workshops. For many soon-to-be graduates, the reality that it’s time to transition into the professional workplace comes as a slap to the face.
No career has “syllabus week.” The transition for recent college graduates can be a cold reflection on their readiness to enter the workforce. One’s degree may well prepare them for the specific challenges faced in that field of study, but does it prepare them for the workforce, in general
Enter: GenFKD’s Launchpad.
What is Launchpad?
In the Spring 2017 semester, GenFKD launched (pun intended) our newest educational platform, Career Launchpad, on the Colorado State University (CSU) campus.
Launchpad is a 12-week course covering business planning and financial literacy through skills-based learning in order to prepare students for – and ease them into – professional opportunities post-graduation.
What does the Launchpad curriculum cover?
Through hands-on workshops, students developed soft skills in areas such as persuasive storytelling, product design, and effective data analysis. These skills were immediately used by the students in weekly interactive activities that culminated in creating a compelling final professional business pitch.
Seminar by seminar students absorbed advice from speakers and translated that into their own career goals, allowing the curriculum to be unique and individual for all students.
Guests, including Dr. Melissa Edwards, associate director of the Office of Undergraduate Research and Artistry at CSU, trained students in effective data analysis and product design. Career counselors explored creative negotiation in interviewing and bartering for salary.
Additionally, GenFKD had local CPAs walk students through common business finance sheets and answer questions on personal investing and budgeting for millennials.
An important aspect of Launchpad is that it gives students the opportunity to meet local and remote entrepreneurs. GenFKD had CEO of Lenny Credit, Joe Bayen, discuss approaching potential business advisors and designing an “ask” for investments during a pitch. Local Colorado businesses served on a panel for student’s soft business pitches as a crossover event to develop networking skills.
Sophie Gullet, a Launchpad student, said, “I was able to develop a portfolio of skills that I will be able to carry with me through graduate school and my future professional endeavors.” Adding that these are “skills that often aren’t covered in high school or college classes.”
GenFKD designed a curriculum that could be adapted to any major, and as a result, had students studying art, biomedical sciences, secondary education, and more, participating in the same curriculum.
GenFKD’s Executive Director, Justin Dent had this to say:
“The skills required for success in the 21st century are changing faster than traditional universities and colleges have been able to keep pace with. With the average shelf life of any hard ‘skill’ now at 5 years, or less, we see it as our responsibility to help universities and students leap forward and prepare for the new world of work.”
Launchpad’s dynamic nature allows students to move past easily outdated texts on business trends. With adaptations in technology and innovation reaching a speed that even general consumers have a hard time keeping up with, career development curriculum needs to pick up the pace.
It is often difficult for students to focus on career development, as we have yet to begin our careers. Launchpad navigates this issue by emphasizing hands-on personalized learning.
Students leave Launchpad with a toolbox of traits acquired to serve them not just with their transition, but along their professional path as well.
What is next for Launchpad?
Launchpad is rolling out to GenFKD campuses across the nation in the 2017-2018 academic year. It will be part of the SUNY Purchase Fall 2017 curriculum as a full semester course and GenFKD will also be implementing different iterations of the Launchpad on several other college campuses throughout the year.
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Header image: GenFKD