As many college students turned in their final projects and exams to mark the end of the semester, another set of students hit the classroom once again even after their exams were complete. Nearly 175 students participated in the two Dardis Academy training sessions in May held in Chicago and Des Moines. Designed as an application-based, skills-drive training, this one-week intensive course prepares students for the upcoming Dardis Classroom to Career internship program and beyond.
While thousands of young people enter the workforce every year, research shows that most college grads do not possess the skills that companies look for in candidates. A National Association of Colleges and Employers survey of more than 200 employers shows that the vast majority of employers look for candidates who are team players, problem solvers and can plan, organize and prioritize their work. It’s the soft skills – not the textbook knowledge – that really sets candidates apart, which is what we focus on in the Academy.
We tailor the Academy based on these effective adult learning methods:
- Interactive coaching from professional instructors
- Strong role modeling
- Individual practice against real-world challenges
“During the Academy, we had extensive training on presentation skills and selling techniques. I learned a lot about how I present myself, and this has already helped me outside of the internship when I’m making presentations for class, as well as talking to people in a business setting.”
– Jon S., 2012 Dardis Academy Graduate, University of Iowa
- Presentation skills
- Professional image skills
- Selling techniques
- Closing and negotiation skills
- Business etiquette
- Telephone/voicemail/email etiquette
- Overcoming objections and handling questions
- Product features and benefits
- Time and territory management
Armed with these practical skills, students are prepared to succeed in our summer internship program and, most importantly, in their careers as they use their business and sales skills to first get the job and then excel in their future positions.