On Saturday, March 26, we invited our Pivotal post-secondary scholars to join us for a day of collaboration, learning, and conversation at the 2022 Young Professional’s Conference. Although we hosted some small in-person events last year, this was the first major activity we’ve been able to host in-person since the start of the pandemic and we were so thrilled to be able to finally see students, staff, and volunteers face-to-face!

The conference provided students with an opportunity to meet with professionals and industry experts and hone their professionalism and interview skills. The event counts toward the completion of two of the five workshops required to earn the Career Readiness Badge – a professional development series that prepares scholars for internships and their future careers.

Students learned and tested their professional development skills including resume & interview preparation, workplace culture & etiquette, social media policies, dressing to impress for an interview, and more. Our Enrichment team and volunteers created a series of insightful presentations and interactive games, followed by a range of in-depth conversations on identifying one’s brand, strengths, weaknesses, and transferable skills to tackle behavioral interviews and conflict resolution in the workplace. Students could also have professional headshots to use on LinkedIn and for other networking opportunities.

“The goal of the conference is to prepare our post-secondary students for the professional world, and to get them some experience networking and building their own brand,” says Megan Eaton, Pivotal’s Manager of Enrichment Services. “Being able to deliver these workshops in-person makes collaboration and conversation so much more powerful and helps build community among these young people.”

During the interview skills workshop, guest speaker, Marcie Soderquist from Compass Realty, offered advice on being creative when answering scenario-based questions, using the sandwich approach for answers, and other insightful tips and tricks for a successful interview experience. She also discussed the power of internships as an opportunity for students to learn about themselves and their interests and to design a structured pathway toward their career goals.

Later in the day, a panel of Pivotal alumni shared their experiences transitioning out of college into careers. They provided tips on career preparation, money management, and the importance of remembering to embrace their inner child and trying to have a little fun every day, despite their daily struggles. Students were also able to network more casually with their peers. Student conversations touched upon some of the more complex discussions around unconscious biases in the workplace and the power of open and honest conversations around diversity and inclusion.

The event was a successful start to a year of growth at Pivotal, and we are grateful and proud of everyone who made it possible! Go, team Pivotal!