Positive Progression of the Fall 2019 Capstone Course

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Image of a classroom of people watching a presentation.

The Starkloff Career Academy’s Fall Capstone Course recently wrapped up its third week, and each of this semester’s 12 candidates are taking full advantage of our unique curriculum.

Susan Menhard, Director of the Starkloff Career Academy, is thoroughly impressed with the focus and determination of the current class. “Each candidate is a quick study, eager to become successful in their career field and completely willing to take risks in order to do so,” she says.

The Fall 2019 class represents the 13th group of students to enroll in the Capstone Course since it began in 2012. This semester’s course features many of the familiar curriculum elements that have made it so successful over the last several years. Job seekers still receive extensive training on how to write compelling cover letters and effective resumes. Mock interviews with HR professionals from local corporations help candidates fine-tune their presentation skills. Talented actors and writers from COCAbiz bring a creative flare to the class with improvisational exercises and useful techniques for effective public speaking. Job seekers gain valuable insights into disclosing a disability to a prospective employer.

As always, SDI staff emphasize the importance of owning one’s disability, leveraging it as a strength to be recognized rather than a weakness to be pitied.

The Fall 2019 course features a couple of first-time presenters as well. Jim Beirne, Director of External Relations at Washington University, will dissect the behavioral interview, an aspect of the job search that can be especially intimidating and difficult to prepare for. Galen Gondolfi, Senior Loan Counselor and Chief Communications Officer at Justine Petersen, will also share crucial strategies for sound financial planning.

Kevin Geekie, a Capstone Course participant presently pursuing an internship in the field of social work, says he’s absorbing the kind of knowledge that is not easy to come by in a traditional classroom setting. “This course is teaching the things I need to learn, that I couldn’t have gotten anywhere else,” he states.

With more than half of the Starkloff Career Academy Capstone Course still to come, there is much more networking, learning and growing in store for job seekers between now and graduation on November 21. Susan and her candidates are making the most of every minute.

“I’m enjoying this group very much. I miss them on the days we don’t meet,” Susan says. “Everyone is working hard to perfect their skills for a successful job search.”

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