It’s perhaps ironic that, for most business school graduates, the first big sales job they have is selling themselves to potential employers. The challenge isn’t trying to sell something that isn’t true, but rather a matter of learning how to give a compelling yet accurate picture of who you are and what you can do. Some people have a captivating charm that makes it seem easy, but for most, a successful job search involves a set of skills, resources and wisdom that must be acquired and practiced.
With that in mind, Crowell School of Business students complete eight career workshops, in addition to an internship, as part of their degree program. The workshops, which are tied to core courses, launched in Fall 2021.
“The topics range from networking and personal branding and using LinkedIn effectively, to finding an internship and interviewing,” said Paul Sohn, Director of Crowell’s the Strategic Roadmap Initiative.
The impetus for the new initiative came not only from Sohn’s own post-collegiate experience, but also for a desire to ensure career success for young alumni.
“Along with the spiritual formation that Biola is known for, we want Crowell to also be known for its career formation,” said Sohn. “It is key that our students develop their unique skill sets and be career-ready and prepared to go on their post-Crowell post-Biola journey. [Our graduates] will have a clear understanding of themselves. They will have a great elevator pitch. They've done multiple mock job interviews, including informational interviews. They've done at least one internship, and they have gone through multiple networking events. This practical experience becomes a crucial part of their journey here at Biola.”
When choosing the topics for the workshops, Sohn said that research into other universities and their practices was included, as was getting feedback from faculty and alumni.
The workshop list for Spring 2022 includes:
Resume & Cover Letter Workshop
Internship Search Workshop
Finding Your Calling Workshop
Personal Branding Workshop
Mock Interview Event
“Even though we do have a set of skills and experiences we are focusing on,” Sohn said, “the exact content of the workshops is still being tested and refined. We've tested eight already, and we're going to test other workshops as well, so we have some flexibility to see what's working and what's not.”
For Sohn, the workshops are part of a culture change where career is at the forefront of the Crowell experience. It is focused around the calling and career initiative — the core being the career development roadmap. Crowell’s goal is to provide practical career readiness for students who not only want to survive, but thrive in the workplace.