Student at a job fair

College to Career Readiness

Helping to prepare students for the workforce

What is C2CR?

Employers continue to indicate the need for particular skills from new graduates, such as the abilities to verbally communicate with people inside and outside the organization, make decisions and solve problems, and work within a team structure. These abilities or “soft skills” as they are often referred to, have recently become a topic of conversation as the business sector has begun to question how prepared college students are upon graduation to enter the workforce. C2CR questions how prepared college graduates are to enter the workforce. C2CR is a program developed through a partnership between USC Aiken, the State Chamber of Commerce, and the business community. It’s designed to prepare students for entry into the workforce after graduation. Through informative workshops throughout the academic year, students will be better prepared to transition into employment positions and utilize the skills employers want.

Why participate in C2CR?

Employers often mention that they want to hire graduates who stand out. By obtaining the C2CR certificate, you are demonstrating to an employer that you will take that extra step to prepare yourself to succeed in the workplace. This program prepares students in those areas that may not be covered in their classes by having business professionals share their real world advice. 

Certificate in Career Readiness

Any workshops completed will be beneficial, but a student completing eight different workshops before their graduation will receive a certificate in Career Readiness.

Workshop Descriptions

Workshop topics for C2CR will cover a wide variety of areas that deal with the transition into the world of work, and life in general after college. Though workshop topics can change, common topics covered each academic year include:

Effective problem-solving skills enable employees to analyze problems and assess the impact of alternative solutions. Through case studies and strategy training, students learn how to effectively handle issues as they arise in today’s ever-changing global economy.
This business networking event gives participants an opportunity to learn strategies for networking at a business social or similar event. Instruction is given during the program, as well as actual networking time to practice what was learned.
This session focuses on the particulars of dressing and acting in a professional manner. The focus is not only on the differences between college and the world of work but also on understanding the organization that employs you and maintaining a positive and professional image.
Life in the working world can be vastly different than the college campus experience. Learn about transition issues from recent graduates faced as they acclimated into their first full-time jobs.
This is an entry level workshop on some of the skills that go into managing an office. Learn strategies for planning, managing a budget, supervising employees, and collecting data in a hands-on workshop.
Communication skills have continually been listed in the top five skills desired by employers for over 20 years. This is simply one of those soft skills that is always in demand. Instruction includes how to organize a presentation and engage your audience.
Despite the prominent role of the interview in the hiring process, students often don’t get the opportunity to learn and practice interviewing skills before interviewing for an actual position. This event offers the chance to practice and get feedback from a professional.
Seven in ten college seniors (71%) who graduated last year had student loan debt, with an average of $29,400 per borrower. From 2008 to 2012, debt at graduation (federal and private loans combined) increased an average of six percent each year. (The Institute for College & Success 2013). Besides the fact that many new graduates start their first post-college jobs with this kind of debt, many have no idea how to manage or budget what they earn in salary. This program provides a framework for managing spending and moving towards saving.
From reports to manuals to emails to memos, written communication is extremely important and valued in the business community. Learn strategies to improve writing in different areas of the business world and understand how poor writing can result in confusion and costly errors.
Technology continues to develop at an astounding rate. Incorporating technology can often be intimidating merely because it is so hard to keep up with changes and new developments. Yet learning a few new programs can greatly enhance the way you approach work and life. This workshop focuses on how you can use technology to increase your productivity.
Just about everyone who has had a job of some kind has experienced the uncomfortable feeling that comes from having unresolved conflicts with co-workers. Many times these conflicts are ignored or resolved badly. This does not make them go away! The effects on the company can lead to a variety of consequences including loss of productivity, absenteeism and, turnover. This workshop includes analysis and discussion of actual situations that occurred and strategies for how to handle them.
Criticism never feels constructive, yet we often hear the phrase constructive criticism. Though students have gotten this kind of feedback on papers and tests, they haven’t often received criticism in a job setting. This workshop deals with understanding expectations at work as well as taking criticism and effectively utilizing this feedback to be successful.
80 percent of employers report using social media in branding or searching for and contacting potential job candidates (National Association of Colleges and Employers 2015). You might not think you have a brand, but you do. What comes to mind when others think about you? What does your Facebook page communicate? How about any other social media? This workshop focuses on the premise that you control the message about yourself that is conveyed to others. Utilize this to create a brand and image that is positive and communicates your strengths, values, and goals.