By Mark B.
Career Readiness Program MOU signing between USTP and BPO companies
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY - The Career Center of the University of Science and Technology of the Southern Philippines (USTP) started its Career Readiness program last February this year. The program aims to prepare graduating students as they leave their classrooms behind and enter the workforce. To launch the program, USTP officials and representatives from a number BPO companies in the City had an MOU signing at the Conference Room of the Chancellor's Office in USTP last February 1, 2019. Later that month, a series of seminars and workshops were then held at USTP in collaboration with the BPO companies.
USTP officials and representatives of BPO companies during MOU signing at USTP. Photo credits: USTP Career Center
Innovuze Solutions Inc. was one of the partner BPO companies of this program. The first set of students to undergo the program facilitated by Innovuze was the graduating class of the Department of Electronics Engineering, between the 11th and 15th of February 2019. The second set were the graduating class of the Department of Electronics and Communications Technology for a whole day event last March 21. During these times, the participants were presented with the necessary skills and competencies that make an individual competitive in today’s job market.
The program was broken down into 5 essential modules: A Paradigm Shift in Learning, General and Technical Competencies VS. Hard and Soft Skills, Effective Communication: Resumes and Emails, Critical Thinking, and Interview Workshops.
The seminar starts with identifying the changes, or shift, in the way learning is achieved now compared to how it was a dozen or so years ago. The importance of being able to use available resources, such as online articles, videos, and tutorials, to teach ourselves and have the initiative to research and go beyond the classroom. Next, we explore the differences between General and Technical Competencies, and how they relate to Hard and Soft skills. We discuss why more and more companies give importance to Soft Skills such as analytical reasoning, communication, time management, and creativity as indicators of a desirable candidate for a position.
Of course, as any new applicant knows, it is vital to craft that perfect resume to get noticed by recruiters. During this module we examined the most common blunders fresh graduates commit in making their first resume and discussed how to avoid these blunders and gave tips on how to curate the resume to be as effective and purpose driven as possible. The students wrote down their skills and were taught ways on how to best showcase these skills and to choose power words for greater emphasis.
The last part of the program, was the best part as we studied Critical Thinking and had several activities where the participating students had case studies where they had to defend against each other. Classic critical thinking techniques, such as The Six Thinking Hats, were used to present ideas and a discussion between the class flourished as different perspectives were given by the students on how to solve one problem. The students proved to be up for the challenge as we looked into common interview questions and dissected the thought process that went through answering these questions. After a few samples, the students then took center stage as we proceeded with a mock-interview where they answered interview questions best they could, while the facilitators provided feedback on how to better identify key points and answer them.
USTP student participants of the Career Readiness Talk facilitated by Innovuze
Innovuze would like to thank USTP for giving us this opportunity to collaborate in programs that make the students more prepared for their future career. Hopefully, the students learned valuable lessons during the program that they can use as they go out into the world and apply for their first job. As for the facilitators, it was a breath of fresh air and energy to go back and give back to university, and be inspired by the students in that crucial point in their lives where they step out of school and enter the world where anything is possible.