The Top 3 Advantages of Courses to Careers for Recent Graduates

Brendan Heffernan - Program Coordinator and Employer Services Representative ·

Formerly known as Backpacks to Briefcases, Courses to Careers (C2C) has been an extremely effective venture for EDSI with a 71% rate of employment from its participants since its inception in 2012. The advantages for program participants are countless and specific to each individual, however, the program’s findings have seen several advantages that are repeatedly mentioned by its participants.

  • Confidence – The time between our participants’ college graduation and when they land their first job can be tough to navigate. Their realization that lack of experience overshadows the degree they just earned is a hit to their confidence, and plays a big part in their inability to find gainful employment right out of school. Despite their lack of confidence early in the process, several C2C participant testimonies mentioned the fact that, through the career readiness workshops, career coaching, and networking events with great local employers, the program instilled in them the confidence they had lost during their job search. Almost every participant went from working part-time or not at all, to working full-time and playing a significant role at their C2C company.
  • Relevant Experience – The most effective way for a recent graduate to gain the relevant experience needed to thrive at a company is by simply doing the work. Courses to Careers stresses to partnering employers that one of the main goals of the program is to assist the grads in gaining the relevant experience needed to thrive in their desired career field. In the past, former C2C participants have been given the freedom to develop their on-the-job skills during paid internships; from running company social media campaigns, working hand-in-hand on commercial shoots, or running “the board” as a producer at a radio station, our participants are fortunate to be a part of the innovative program that gave them the chance to gain meaningful experience for their future.
  • Opportunity! – All of the C2C participants say the same thing at the beginning of the program: They are just looking to get their foot in the door. Courses to Careers literally does that and it is put to practice at the Networking Meet and Greet that the participants attend. After they complete their Career Readiness Week, where they are given the opportunity to brush up on their interview and soft skills among other things, they are put in the room with employers that are specifically targeted by the program based off the participants’ desired career paths. For example, if a participant graduated with a degree in Marketing, there will be at least two companies at the event from that industry. The Networking Meet and Greet is such a vital and unique component of the C2C Program that plays the largest role in the participants gaining employment. How many other resources can a recent college graduate utilize that puts them in the same room as some of their desired employers AND give them the opportunity to earn a paid internship with those companies? This is what sets Courses to Careers apart from other workforce resources.

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