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Job Skills Accelerator Equips Students for Career Success

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On June 6, Career Services concluded its second annual Job Skills Accelerator (JSA) program: a four-week immersion designed to equip students with in-demand skills through alumni partnerships, microcredential courses, and professional workshops.   

The JSA program is structured to introduce students to a typical work-week schedule, running 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays. During those hours, students engage in mini-courses on leadership, financial wellness, and communicating for work. They also enjoy virtual job-shadow experiences with Colgate graduates working within their desired career fields. 

鈥淭he magic happens when students and alumni connect over these Zoom calls,鈥 says Anne Clauss, the JSA 2024 program director. 鈥淧retty quickly, students start to see how much they have in common with alumni who sat in their seats just a few years or decades ago.鈥 

Alongside their alumni partnerships, students in the JSA program each complete a microcredential course, with options including the Foundations of Real Estate, and Harvard Business School鈥檚 Digital Marketing Strategy. Mina Zaman 鈥26, who chose an Oracle Structured Query Language course, plans to apply her knowledge to a career in data analytics. Her microinternships with Elizabeth Ellis 鈥10 of Facebook and Michael Barber 鈥14 of CAE developed her skills in the field and revealed a deeper truth:

鈥淲hichever career you choose, you have to find meaning in it,鈥 she says. 鈥淚 want to work in a field that aligns with my identity as an immigrant. For so long, I felt like I was running away from that identity. But this program put everything into place for me.鈥 

Coming out of the program, Zaman now aspires to work in data analytics in the nonprofit sector. 鈥淭hrough JSA, I feel like I grew as a person and a student,鈥 she says.

To share their newfound sense of self-awareness and growth with their peers, JSA participants delivered a 10-minute oral presentation 鈥 their capstone project. Modeled after Dartmouth鈥檚 Tuck Business Bridge capstone, the project guided students through a process of reflection and action planning to ensure a lasting impact. 

鈥淐oming into JSA, I knew I wanted to build my communication skills,鈥 says Miles Salinas 鈥26, who developed his interests in marketing and sales throughout the program. 鈥淣ow, I would say communication is a strength of mine 鈥 I couldn鈥檛 have said that a month ago.鈥

The JSA program was made possible by support from the Alan Greene 鈥51 Investment Studies Program and the Robert A. Fox 鈥59 Management and Leadership Skills Program.