Trying to find an internship or that first post-graduation job can be overwhelming. RavenReady might be the solution. The program was launched to help Anderson University students take advantage of every avenue available to make them top contenders in the job market.
RavenReady consists of 18 professional development activities that students can sign up for with the Career Development Center, a program on campus that assists students in finding a job after college. Once all 18 activities are completed, the student receives a RavenReady certificate. The activities vary from registering on the CDC website, building a résumé, creating a LinkedIn profile, and attending professional meetings. The program was created to help students develop a set of skills that will make them more comfortable during professional situations.
Dr. Michael Wiese, professor of marketing, began working on the program after members of the Falls School of Business Marketing Advisory Board suggested that students should have more opportunities to develop professional skills.
“The purpose of this program is to educate and to prepare students for the job market that they will soon be part of,” Wiese said. “The program helps and encourages them to go out and meet professionals in their industry, to create a network. This program’s primary goal is to help the students get a job after college and in order to do that they need to act like a professional.”
Laurie Judge, the director of the CDC, also helped with the development of the program and made it accessible on Raven Career Link. “Most, if not all, of the skills highlighted in RavenReady activities are taught in the classroom or acquired through some type of experiential learning activity,” said Judge. “What RavenReady enables students to do is demonstrate those skills through the acquisition of this certificate.”
Lori Ball, chief operating officer at BioStorage Technologies Inc. and a member of the Falls School of Business Marketing Advisory Board, predicts the professional program at AU will give students the social, communication, and presentation skills needed to be taken seriously in the job market. Ball knows from experience as an employer that students tend to focus on the academic portion of their college experience and not take advantage of other outlets accessible to them.
“Getting in touch with the professional environment early can make you stand out and appear more comfortable in different settings,” Ball said. “Students should be going out and observing board meetings, practicing their social skills at professional dinner parties, and even working on research projects for companies.”
She believes this program is unique and gives the students a competitive advantage during the interview process. The program allows students to create great talking points and equips them with the confidence to be comfortable during interviews.
Judge predicts that soon more academic departments will adopt this program and make it their own. All departments will be able to use Raven Career Link as a homepage for RavenReady, but each program will be customized to each individual field of study. “This program is not only for freshman, even though it is highly encouraged to start as a freshman,” said Judge. “The program can be completed in four years, or even one. It depends on the person and their dedication to the program.”
— Matt Dougherty is a junior from Breese, Ill., majoring in communication arts and marketing. Dougherty is an associate with Fifth Street Communication™, writing on behalf of the Anderson University Office of University Communications.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing, and theology.