Though graduating college is a thrilling time in a student’s young life, the thought of pivoting into the workforce can seem daunting. SOWF, believing preparation and rehearsal are key to reducing transition anxiety, hosted its inaugural Strong Finish Optimization Conference (SFO), with sessions focusing on college to career transition, useful tips regarding graduate school, and a variety of fundamental life lessons. Essentially, the SFO Conference provided SOWF scholarship students with many specific and key elements that could be applied to becoming “young professionals.”
The road began with students traveling from across the country to join SOWF’s Scholarship and Family Outreach Team in Tampa for the three-day SFO Conference where they received, became familiar with, and were given the opportunity to respond to, practical advice. Each student participated in interactive learning sessions on a variety of subject matters offered by experts working in various industries of potential interest. Guidance was provided, ideas were shared, and questions answered, all with the best interests of the students in mind.
Employing a student-friendly comprehensive approach, the ultimate end game was to construct individual, well-balanced game plans that could lead to student success and solid professional outcomes. With thoughtful guidance from the staff, each student was empowered to create a self-designed approach, featuring personal, and attainable, goals and objectives.
Steady one-on-one coaching and supportive interaction prompted students to create individual roadmaps, utilizing standard tools such as building personal brands via resume-writing, appropriate social media interaction and messaging. In addition, staff emphasized the importance of nurturing relationships, enlisting the support of mentors, preparing for job interviews with emotional intelligence, and being cognizant of their respective financial situations by constructing a realistic budget.
At the conclusion of the conference, the SOWF Scholarships and Family Outreach Team polled the students, asking for honest feedback regarding year #1. Based on the students’ experiences, 100% of the attendees expressed an increased level of confidence in their ability to transition from college to career.