Preparing Students for the Future – Professional Development

A firm handshake, a steady gaze, clear answers and a well-written resume. Professional development covers a lot of things, but ultimately it’s career and personal development. Today’s post covers some of the professional development that Student Chapters at the University of Toronto, the American University in Cairo, and the University of Pittsburgh are doing.

The Student Chapter at the University of Toronto fosters professional development through a variety of means, but perhaps its most successful is its wide range of professional speakers. Topics and speakers ranged from teamwork and communication to more technical topics such as usability testing and coding. One such presentation was given by Dr. Leo Marland, IBM’s Global Business Services Canada Chief Technology Office (CTO), on information systems and what the future might hold for them.

AIS Student Chapters at the American University of Cairo put their knowledge into action by creating a GPA calculator to simulate grades based on future expectations. In order to make their program accessible to others, they placed it on the web. (http://my.aucegypt.edu/GPACal.html) In addition to collaborative projects, AIS AUC also hosts what they call the “IT Forums.” Bringing in a panel of professionals from the IT Sector in Egypt and MENA region discussions include Entrepreneurship in IT and business practices. The IT Forums were about an hour each and time for Q&A was given at the end of the presentations.

Stopping by at the University of Pittsburgh, AIS Student Chapters are developing soft skills in a ‘Resume and Interview Workshop’. The Resume Workshop was a combination of peer review and tips to improve the quality of member’s resumes. To top it off, there was a recruiter from Level 3 helping reviewing resumes and suggesting improvements on an individual basis. The Interview Workshop, as the name suggests, focused on teaching the soft skills needed for a good interview. Talking about how to have a good interview wasn’t enough though – AIS UPB had volunteer ‘recruiters’ who were either professors or local business managers to provide mock interviews for its members. You can’t get any more prepared than that!

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