Culverhouse College of Business- Ask just about any college student what motivates their studies and many will say something to the effect that they’re looking to earn a degree that will lead them into a professional career. That’s all well and good: college is a great place to learn more about who you are as an individual and discover careers that are the right fit for you. Something that doesn’t always get said, however, is that a college degree isn’t a magic key that unlocks the job door. You will be competing for highly-coveted jobs with many other talented, smart, and enthusiastic college grads—anything that can set you apart from the pack should be prioritized.
For employers, one of the things that they look for most in potential employees is:
- Relevant work experience
- Technical skills specific to the job
- Robust set of professional competencies
- Ability to clearly communicate and effectively collaborate
- Interest in diversity, equity, and inclusion
- Capacity for project management
Also, improving these resume-fortifying components sometimes gets ignored by college students in the rush to complete a college degree in four years or less. To address this issue, the Culverhouse College of Business at The University of Alabama has launched a professional development platform called UA Business LEAD. The program is designed to develop key professional competencies that complement traditional academic learning and will be required of all business undergrads starting in fall 2020.
Day 1 Ready
UA Business LEAD includes a three-course professional development sequence, the Culverhouse Connections Series, and capstone experiences such as internships and study abroad. It’s all enabled by a tech platform that tracks student engagement and creates an e-portfolio shareable with prospective employers.
According to David Mothersbaugh, associate dean for undergraduate and international programs at Culverhouse and who along with his team is leading this initiative, “Industry increasingly demands our students be ‘Day 1 Ready.’”
“Academic learning is necessary but not sufficient in today’s job market. Professional competencies weigh heavily in hiring decisions and are essential to student success. UA Business LEAD is a signature initiative, designed to build key professional competencies, and create ‘Day 1 Ready’ leaders.”
In addition to new and exciting programs that engage students with prospective employers and cultivate professional skills, Culverhouse also has a career services center that goes above and beyond. As you might guess by its name, the Career Center at Culverhouse is the home within the College for assistance on crafting a solid resume and cover letter and how to dress on the job. It’s also a nexus for special events and mentoring opportunities that connect students one-on-one with established professionals from all sorts of industries.
Elizabeth Iniguez, a senior at Culverhouse, described the insights she gleaned from one of those connections, Derek Lewis an executive at PepsiCo North American Beverages, who visited Culverhouse in the fall of 2019. Iniguez said, “[Lewis advised us] to build relationships with all people and understand their point of view—to work with individuals who one may not automatically choose from in order to create a more diverse and effective team.”
Other recent corporate visitors include execs from the Walt Disney Company, Lockheed Martin Corporation, and DeltaAir Lines. All of them took the opportunity to meet with students and provide insights on what it’s like working within their respective companies.
Whether it’s making real connections with industry leaders or enhancing a student’s ability to navigate the workplace, the Culverhouse College of Business has a full array of exciting programs and initiatives. To learn more, visit culverhouse.ua.edu.