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With professional development more important than ever, CPRC launches this year’s EDGE program

Aug 17, 2020

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Register now to ensure your spot in the 2020-21 program

Staff in the Career and Professional Readiness Center (CPRC) are always looking for ways to give SBU students an edge when it comes to preparing them for employment and graduate school.

That’s why they’re gearing up for the sixth year of the Competitive Edge Certificate (The EDGE) program. The EDGE provides participating sophomores, juniors, and seniors the opportunity to develop professional skills sought by employers and graduate schools. Professional development and marketability are even more important due to the COVID 19 pandemic.

During the 2020-21 academic year, students will participate in a diverse series of six in-person or virtual seminars with a focus on the new normal in these times of uncertainty. Topics for the seminars include self-awareness, professionalism and multigenerational workplace, networking, personal branding and marketing, virtual interviewing, virtual internship and career fairs, and diversity and inclusion.

The program also plans to bring back the successful EDGE Certificate with Distinction. Students who complete the six seminars as well as four skill development items will receive this distinction. The skill development credentials include completing a CPRC-approved résumé, cover letter, LinkedIn profile, elevator pitch, business cards, practice interview and professional networking event.

Online registration for The EDGE opens today (Aug. 17) and closes Friday, Sept. 4, at Space in the program is limited. Early registration is strongly encouraged. The first seminar is planned for Monday, Sept. 8.

“Preparing our students for their next steps after leaving SBU to ensure that they are more confident and marketable has always been at the core of why we do the EDGE Program,” said Assistant Dean for Student Development Pamela Ferman. “Going into this year, we have examined the current trends of hiring and recruiting in this uncertain employment landscape and will be bringing these topics to our students. If there were ever a time to see the importance of professional development – it’s now.”

Last year, 100 students completed requirements for The EDGE and Distinction programs. EDGE participants found the seminar sessions and skill development options flexible and resourceful.

Julianna Misenheimer, a sport studies major who pursued The EDGE with Distinction path, said the program provided a lot of insight and advice surrounding professionalism in interviews, application processes, and the workforce in general. The new skills Misenheimer developed make her feel well informed and well prepared for her professional life after Bona’s.

“The information offered in the seminars, labs, and one-on-one meetings was priceless as this particular knowledge is usually overlooked and often goes unaddressed. You are given the chance to practice your interview skills in a comfortable setting, perfect your elevator pitch, and get a step ahead of your peers with personalized business cards,” she said.

Chandler Poczciwinski, a senior accounting major, attributes the EDGE program with helping him land his dream internship in California.

“The EDGE program provided the professional skills I needed to confidently communicate with the large accounting firms,” Poczciwinski said.

Students who complete all program requirements by April 2021 will receive a certificate and a letter of achievement from the president of the university. Distinction completers receive a graduation stole. (It is unknown at this time whether an end-of-the year reception will be permitted.)

Learn more about The EDGE and other professional development opportunities offered by the CPRC at