11Feb
Ed TechHigher Ed

How to increase the employability of the region’s millennials

Candy CandiceWhat prompted you to set up Fullbridge?
My husband Peter and I realized there was a step missing in the transition between higher education and the professional world after realizing that the excellent liberal arts education our children had received left them lacking the necessary skills to be workplaceready. In January 2012, we launched a pilot program aimed at college students and recent graduates, and subsequently focused on larger programs that summer.  Then Fullbridge established a suite of vertical business-to-business programs for law firms, consulting firms, financial firms, service organizations, universities, and corporations as we found it was a global issue.

Why do you think that there is such a gap between the skills that employers want today, and the skills students are leaving formal education with?
Millennials have many great skills and they are often underestimated based on how they’ve been portrayed in the past. In today’s fast-paced workplace, managers don’t have the time to wait until their new employees adjust to the speed, consistently perform, and build the other necessary skills that one needs to move successfully from school to career.

There is so much competition, if students don’t take the time to prepare before they enter the workforce, they are less likely to succeed. Additionally, students have never been taught skills like time management, working with a manager, design thinking, flexibility, presentation skills, and communication skills. To succeed in today’s workplace you need these to remain competitive. Millennials are lacking real world experience, but the education system should include more opportunities for their generation to succeed on their own.

How does Fullbridge help solve this problem?
Fullbridge prepares students and young professionals to succeed in the global economy. Our programs are designed to shift mindsets to ensure our graduates are ready for the workplace. Our pedagogy combines an online platform with in person exercises and individualized coaching. Participants gain skills that resonate in a 21st century marketplace. For example, we have modules in finance, marketing, and sales, and also in design thinking, entrepreneurship, and communication. Participants are taught to be autonomous and self-sufficient, but also how to work well in teams and delegate work appropriately.

They are constantly working on deadlines and learning skills like time management, project management, and workplace interactions throughout the process. The purpose of the program is to simulate a real-world work experience where you’ll have to deliver quality work on a deadline while working with various personalities and communicating with your manager. Managers of Fullbridge graduates have shared that their Fullbridge trained employees are outperforming their non Fullbridge counterparts. This type of training prepares young people for the workplace in a way that a traditional classroom has not been able to. We change mindsets.

What one technology can help improve in the acquisition of 21st century skills?
Shorter, competency based programs that focus on a combination of hard and soft skills with access to coaching.

By Candice Carpenter Olson, Co-Founder and Co-CEO, Fullbridge

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