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Your Passport to Professional Success

October 29, 2015

UMD's Passport to Professional Success program

A passport provides a snapshot of places to which you have traveled. Your passport can be filled with stamps from a variety of exciting places that you have visited. When others flip through the pages of your passport, they can get a quick sense of the depth of your foreign travel experience.

The Passport to Professional Success program provides students with experiences too. It allows LSBE students to supplement their classroom instruction by gaining additional knowledge, including the learning of "soft skills," which are so necessary in today’s work environment. Soft skills include leadership, written and verbal communication, problem solving, motivation, interpersonal skills, and creativity.

An online article in Forbes magazine, "The 10 Skills Employers Most Want in 2015 Graduates," cites that these "soft skills" are fundamental to most every job to which a person considers applying. Furthermore, unless you convey through your resume, cover letter, and job interview that you possess these skills, your chances of attaining that job diminish greatly.

A USA Today article, "5 Skills College Grads Need to Get A Job," also cites evidence from several employer surveys regarding the need for these soft skills. This article provides examples of what those skills are, such as oral communication skills includes the ability to moderate your speaking style in different situations.

However, LSBE students typically do not have problems being hired. As the recent UMD Career and Internship Services survey notes, the 2013-2014 academic year LSBE graduates had a 99% hire rate. LSBE's Passport Program provides students with a structured approach to participating in activities that build soft skills.

The multi-year Passport Program consists of a diverse set of professional development events and activities. These include attending student organization meetings or events, taking a Career Services workshop, participating in Dining for Success, visiting a job fair or recruiting session, taking part in a mock interview, attending Chamber of Commerce events, and so much more.

While the Career Services Office provides the lion's share of tools and resources for students to access for transitioning into a career, the staff and faculty at LSBE also are committed to proactively helping their students to succeed. A detail of the Passport requirements and a list of upcoming Passport Events are found on the LSBE website.

The Passport program is just another example of how the Labovitz School of Business and Economics provides much more than just classroom learning. Career and experiential emphases like these take learning to the next level.