The first job out of college is the most challenging! Who is hiring? How to match the degree with the job descriptions? Do I have to move out of the area to get a good job? The Exploratory Lab Boot Camp, a program sponsored by Tech Data, Valpak, AgileThought, TBTF and SPC will be graduating 15 area students on June 22, at 8:30 am who have learned the answers to all these questions and more. 88 students have already graduated from the program to date and 79% of the students seeking a job or internship have been successful 6 month after graduating from the program. The program targets college students with 60 or more credits from all degree fields including Liberal Arts and Fine Arts, or persons that are attending SPC Workforce Institute Learn to Earn program. This session was unique because high school students were included, at the request of Dr. Law, President of SPC, and an original sponsor of the program, with the goal of developing the talent pipeline earlier in the educational process.
The Exploratory Lab Boot Camp guides students in the discovery of “in demand” career options using the skills and knowledge gained in their academic program while learning new business skills that companies are seeking in new hires. The program prepares students for an internship or for the first job at graduation!
The purpose of the Exploratory Lab Boot Camp is to:
- Provides a real-time business integration experience augmenting traditional classroom curriculum
- Teaches the latest business skills – IoT, Big Data, and Integrated Marketing in a digital world…..
- Closes the gap between academic skills and skills required to fill positions in Tech companies
- Teaches critical thinking and critical reasoning with real world solution design activities
- Increases the interest of non-tech degree student in the Technology industry to fill open positions
- Increases understanding of “in demand” careers and provides a pathway to positions in area companies.
What is the Ex Lab? The Exploratory Lab Boot Camp is a total immersion experience at Tech Data with sessions provided by Tech Data employees, professionals currently working in the field, who will share the latest trends and strategies that companies are using to remain competitive. Students are involved in developing a Business Plan that recommends a market strategy to Tech Data to bring an IoT (Internet of Things) product to market. The experience includes several pre-events to prepare you for the experience. Students are asked to read “Creative Confidence” by Tom and David Kelly to help transition from the educational environment where students follow a syllabus and chasing a grade to developing solutions for common business problems. Students reported that 70% of what they learned in the program was not taught in the classroom; however, 100% of the content is what business wants new hires to know. Students state that the program is a life changer in that they learned about careers they never knew they qualified for and the confidence to apply for area openings.
The unique blend of high school and college students saw an increase in creativity and amazing technical skills that the high schoolers brought to the program that were not previously displayed by Ex Lab grads. College students are either May and August 2017 graduates seeking employment or degreed students updating tech skills at the SPC Workforce Institute after being laid off. The college degrees included Marketing, Computer Science, Physics, Library Science, Liberal Arts, and Business & Accounting. The high school students attend a Pinellas County CTE school, SPC Collegiate High School, or Shorecrest.
On June 22nd at 8:30 – 11:00 the fifth “Ex Lab” class will present their IoT product pitch. The teams were charged with defining problems, developing a solution, as well as marketing the product. The unique feature of the program is that they have had to define the problem. In school students are provided the range of issues to analyze based on the parameters of the course. In the Ex Lab, students experience business solution design process and develop a unique IoT business solution that meets a demand by targeted population. Students are mentored by over 40 Tech Data staff that are committed to the success of the students, and along the way find new talent to fil open positions! The first program graduate (Oct 2015), a Political Science major from SPC is now mentoring Ex Lab students from his position in the eCommerce division! The program works!
For more information contact Patricia Gehant firstname.lastname@example.org or 727-742-5144.