Capstone’s First-Ever Online Course Alumni Gather to Celebrate Graduation

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Starkloff Career Academy Capstone Course alumni gathered on April 25th to celebrate being the first-ever online graduates.

During the Capstone Course, candidates learn how to tell their disability stories with strength, develop a comprehensive disclosure strategy, write a catalog of STAR stories for any interview question, make stellar first impressions, and maximize their chances at an interview through effective job searching and careful tailoring of their resumes.

Unlike the typical 8-week course though, the 2018 Capstone Course involved an in-person 4-hour introductory course, four weeks of regular Skype webinars, 20 hours worth of online activities and quizzes, and two full-day boot camps with Starkloff Disability Institute partner companies Centene Corporation and Enterprise Holdings.

As always, the most impactful part of the course was spending time with recruiters. The two boot camps took place on April 4th at Centene Corporation and April 18th at Enterprise Holdings. Candidates spent the mornings practicing STAR stories, networking, conflict resolution and first impressions. Afternoons were turned over to the companies.

Centene Talent Acquisition Specialist Karen Comporato began Boot Camp 1 by providing an overview of effective job-search strategies. She was then joined by Centene Senior Talent Acquisition Specialists Linda Beaton and Jeff Parker for resume reviews and mock interviews.

“I think we learned as much as the candidates did,” Comporato said.

“I will second that,” Beaton agreed. “We came away energized and excited about the prospect of being able to assist Starkloff and your clients.  It was beneficial all the way around.”

Speaking for her whole team, Alishea Johnson, Centene Inclusion and Diversity Specialist, stated: “It’s always a pleasure partnering with Starkloff, and to echo Linda and Karen we always walk away with tips and suggestions we can share with our teams!”

Boot Camp 2 began with an introduction by Chris Tabourne, Enterprise Holding Assistant Vice President of HR Diversity and Inclusion. Her Talent Acquisition Managers Tycelia Codner and Julie Rapp, Specialist Kelli Hendry and Assistant Rachel Esswein then set the table for mock interviews.

“Working with Starkloff was a great experience,” Hendry said. “I believe every person in the room has great abilities and passion to be in the workforce!”

The Starkloff Career Academy 2018 Capstone Course graduates are:

Chad Dillon, who has a Bachelors of Business Administration from the University of Kansas and 15 years of experience in business operations for both for-profits and non-for-profits. Chad also has experience with HR, properties management and accounting. His current goal is to find a full-time position in business administration.

Of the course, Chad said, “For me this class was a great confidence builder and refresher. I got some great information for my job search and my resume. I am glad I connected with Starkloff Disability Institute, and I plan on staying involved and volunteering my time and talents whenever possible.”

Alicia Johnson has a BS in Biology from SIUE. She is a certified teacher and currently studying at SIUE for her Masters in Higher Education Administration. After she graduates, Alicia plans on entering the higher education administration field, particularly in student access offices where she can help students with disabilities meet their needs.

Jacqueline Claire Reineri was already an accomplished writer and editor by the time she graduated from Lindenwood University with a Bachelor’s in Creative Writing. Jacque has received editing credits for multiple publications, and currently works in the emerging field of Sensitivity Reading. Her goal is to gain a full-time job in publishing and eventually move to New York City, publishing capitol of the world.

“The Career Academy Capstone course gave me a new perspective on job hunting and provided me with great tools to feel confident in my interviews,” Jacque proudly professed. “I particularly enjoyed learning about star stories and discussing disability disclosure. Situational interview questions used to be the hardest part of the process for me, but now I feel ready for anything interviewers throw my way,” she continued. “As someone who was hesitant to begin this course, I definitely recommend giving it a try. No matter where you are in your job search, there’s always something new to learn.”

Starkloff Disability Institute would like to thank Centene Corporation and Enterprise Holdings for sharing their expertise. We would also like to thank Maryville University’s Pamela Bryan Williams for helping to edit the online material, and the St. Louis Arc for hosting our introductory class.

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