The Talk on Tenth

Students See Big Picture with Big Shoulders, Junior Achievement
Career readiness workshop instructed students on personal brand management, interview tips, soft skill development 
Marquette students closed out this past week by forgetting the SAT, ISTEPs, and ACT and focusing on an oft-overlooked aspect of adult life: the 4Cs.

Critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity are qualitative skills that cannot be assessed via standardized testing. Yet, these proficiencies can determine who lands a job or promotion and who keeps clicking "refresh" on Indeed.

Any business school graduate across the globe can recite the components of a SWOT analysis. But can that individual hold a conversation in an interview? Draft a resume that is free of typos? Keep controversial photos of themselves off social media?

It is the duty of Marquette to prepare all students for all aspects of college and beyond -even if that information isn't included in a textbook or Skyepack module. On Friday, those outside-the-classroom lessons were taught during a workshop in partnership with Junior Achievement and Big Shoulders Fund.

"If you can show yourself on paper, you also have to show yourself by talking. It's about showing your employer what kind of soft skills you do have and what your capabilities are," one Junior Achievement representative told a class.

Students engaged in problem-solving drills, interview role-playing, and conflict-resolution exercises amongst other activities. Junior Achievement is a consortium of local business leaders so the message's credibility is built-in. While the only constant in the working world is change, there are a few evergreen tenets. One of those is an organization's need for dependable and efficient employees. JA broke down how that and other soft skills - empathy, polish, communication - make for desirable job candidates.

Members of the Marquette staff chimed in with anecdotes from their own professional experience.

Bill Luegers ('72), who served as chief financial officer for several companies before retiring from Vienna Beef last year, shared how he distilled 500 resumes to one individual to fill a controller opening. The University of Notre Dame graduate reinforced the significance of a flawless resume.

"Four hundred of the 500 lacked the qualifications for which I was looking. From there, I threw out another 20-40 candidates because their resume had a typo. If you can't take care of one of your most important documents, how can I trust you to do a good job here?" he observed.

Friday's workshop was made available thanks to Big Shoulders Fund, the charitable organization that lends support to elementary and secondary schools. The Big Shoulders Fund received a $16 million gift from the Bruce and Beth White Family Foundation this past October. The grant was earmarked to assist schools within the Catholic Diocese of Gary.

"The missions of Big Shoulders Fund and the Catholic Diocese of Gary align in our passionate commitment to educational excellence," Dr. Joseph J. Majchrowicz, superintendent of schools for the Catholic Diocese of Gary, remarked.

The three-hour interactive seminar concluded with a discussion of digital profiles. Speaking of which, visit our Facebook page to view more pictures and videos from today.