Gain a Professional Edge

If you are interested in building career skills quickly, check out Professional Edge!

As a student, I’ve noticed that the Lundquist College of Business is home to so many clubs, resources, and events that it can be difficult to keep track of your options. To help with that, I’m shining a light on one of Lundquist’s most valuable resources, Professional Edge. I had the opportunity to speak with Trish Dorman, the Senior Associate Director for Student Engagement and Programming, and Ella Harrington, a Professional Edge ambassador and third-year marketing student, to learn about everything Professional Edge has to offer.

Dorman explained that Professional Edge “provides trainings and workshops on marketable skill sets for undergraduate and graduate students.” Dorman and her team work with industry leaders to build workshops that will equip students with the most relevant and valuable skills as they prepare to enter the workforce. The workshops are considered “short courses,” which means they take place outside of the classroom and can range from anywhere between one and eight hours in length.

Every Professional Edge workshop is rooted in hands-on learning. “There’s a good amount of both the presenter coming in and teaching us about the skill and then getting to ask questions about that and talking with other students about their experiences within the skill,” said Harrington. Students are “not going to get lectured to. They’re going to spend a lot of time actually participating and engaging in the learning. They’re very experiential,” added Dorman.

Professional Edge has three types of workshops: foundations workshops, which are oriented specifically toward first-year students with a goal of setting these students up with tools to begin professional development; professional immersions, in which students can work with an employer as a mentor to develop a technical skill; and Professional Edge programming, with a focus on educating students who are beginning the job search about the newest skills and technologies employers find appealing.

Past workshop topics have included trauma-informed business practices, interview preparation, design thinking, and tutorials in various software and programs including Google Analytics, Excel, and Python.

Dorman reported that she’s in the process of developing a program where students can receive digital micro-credentials for the skills they’ve learned in workshops, which can then be added to a LinkedIn profile or to other social media profiles.

All students are welcome to register for and attend Professional Edge workshops. Courses typically take place on Fridays. Students can find out about and sign up for upcoming workshops on the UO Events Calendar or the Professional Edge website.

By Avery
Avery Career Peer Educator