“Each university project
must serve as a stepping-stone
for students in getting ready
for the next chapter in their life.
Each of them.” Jeff, MBA student, US Army Veteran
BE-EDGE addresses the desire of Millennials for self-differentiation and control over employability. It invests in and tests the students’ psychological and professional career readiness.
Beginning with the “What’s next?” issue, BE-EDGE also serves as an instrument for engaging of accomplished professionals — alumni, veterans, and adult learners — in graduate and continuing education.
These are the options for universities to assist students in their effort to craft employability:
How many capstone projects are simply one more course in a student’s curriculum? How many master programs do not have a capstone course at all? Even if students are lucky to have a capstone as a profession-relevant project, how many of them can do such a project for the company THEY target to be employed?
It should be different. Capstone projects must be centered around THEM, students, and what they aspire to do after graduation. The capstone must be all about students working on their PERSONAL STRATEGY for differentiation and positioning in the job market.
Regardless of the program content, professors and program directors can apply BE-EDGE for designing capstone courses as a sequence of four steps through which students invest in their personal, social, and professional capital to craft their employability.
Most programs and colleges offer internship opportunities to their students, but only a few offer the benefits that the BE-EDGE Method can provide. These are:
A step-by-step guide for students and advisors.
A set of internship deliverables that are meaningful for students and employers.
A set of rubrics for measuring the effectiveness of the internships in advancing a student’s employability in the area that fits the student best.
A set of rubrics for measuring the value the program has generated for the student/client.
Digital conversion pathway.
Long-lasting impact measured through a growing database of industry partners, initiated based on graduates’ career design interests.
When I shared my experience of applying the BE-EDGE Method and the impact it made on career design, a member of the marketing and enrollment team asked me whether we can use it as an instrument to attract adult learners — people who already have an undergraduate degree, but are inspired with the “what’s next?” journey or interested in refocusing their careers .
I confirmed that we can reach out to all our undergraduate alumni from around the world who have graduated in the last 3-7 years and invite them to participate in the “Make Your Case” personal strategy workshop and competition.
Undergrad alumna can use their work in the case-writing competition as a stepping stone along their career path or leading to their entry into a master’s program.
Your college can distinguish itself with an initiative designed to enhance the Built-in Employability of Veterans.
BE-EDGE provides a platform from which veterans can put their accumulated personal, social, and professional capital to work, following a curriculum designed as a set of stepping stones that will connect them with employers in industries they genuinely aspire to work in.
Through this kind of program, veterans will be able to take control over the space they shape for themselves in the university and in the market.
To pursue any of the be-described initiatives, a school’s Employer Engagement or Development Offices can follow the BE-EDGE pathway for engaging industry partners as hosting clients, sponsors, or judges for the theme-based capstone courses or a BE-EDGE “Make Your Case” competition.
As hosting clients, employers receive a customized company case story of the company’s achievements and its history of overcoming market challenges prepared by students or other program participants.
Most importantly, being a host allows potential employers to assess graduating students on their fit to the company culture and their ability to add value.
Finally, industry partners can serve as industry-, theme-, or brand-related program sponsors.