No, it’s not that browser Microsoft installed on your computer after you updated to Windows 10, it’s okay if you aren’t 100% sure what The EDGE is. Last Saturday, St. Bonaventure’s Competitive Edge Certificate Program launched at a kickoff party in the Quick Center’s Loft where over 140 students were inducted into the first-ever class of the EDGE. While delivering the opening address during the ceremony, Rick Trietley, Vice Provost of Student Affairs, noted that the students participating would one day go down in Bonaventure history as the beginning of a revolutionary program similar to no other school.

The program describes itself as one that provides participating sophomores, juniors, and seniors the opportunity to develop professional skills employers and graduate schools seek. To accomplish this, between the kickoff party and April 6, 2016, participants are required to take part in several activities whose topics will range between professionalism, self-awareness, professional communication, networking, interviewing and workplace dynamics.

Events planned for the month of September include “What Makes People Tick, Click, and Conflict,” a seminar to enhance self-understanding; “Professionalism: Average Joe to Successful Pro,” a seminar to help understand the importance of soft skills highly valued by employers and how to improve those skills; and “#nailedit? Are you really ready for a job interview?” an event that will teach key strategies of interviewing. Employers consistently report that an applicant’s professionalism effects the likelihood of being hired, and graduate schools are recognizing the need for professional development skills as a part of the total education experience. The EDGE is a program that will be able to put all who participate steps ahead of their competition.

As if that wasn’t incentive enough, every participant who successfully completes the program will receive a certificate and letter of achievement from Sr. Margaret Carney upon the program’s end. St. Bonaventure has opened up a door for its students, and for the 140+ students who have taken the first step, there’s an endless road of opportunity moving forward. The revolutionary EDGE program will go down in St. Bonaventure history, just as its participants will go down in world history.

Michael O’Malley

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