Generation Next is an asset-based program that supports the post-graduation outcomes of students by centering a student’s cultural and communal assets as the cornerstones for mentorship, networking, career exploration, and skill development (Colman & Davis, 2020; Ebersohn & Mbetse, 2003; Kellog, 2021; Lopez, 2017). Generation Next utilizes a cultural and identity affirmation framework that moves career development away from deficit and needs interventions to a practice that nurtures students’ talents and strengths while centering Blackness as a source of strength, confidence, and joy.
Three strategies to emphasize our asset-based framework are the reframing of business tours, professional mixers, and side hustle net shops. This program provides interactive workshops, tours of businesses and organizations, and professional mixers with a twist to engage students to be the author of what they would like to be professionally during and after college.
- To provide students with tools to learn a holistic approach to networking through interactive workshops on topics including self-branding, maximizing Handshake, LinkedIn, negotiation strategies, and others
- To create strong relationships that extend throughout the academic experience with key mentors in career development: career coaches with a specialized focus on underrepresented populations and ongoing mentorship from professionals among our employer partners
- To empower students to build a more professional online presence
- To connect students to entrepreneurs, working professionals, corporations, and non-profit organizations through thoughtfully crafted professional mixers and tours of both businesses and nonprofits
- To nurture and inspire students to explore soft and hard skills outside of their major to build a well-rounded resume and maximize “side hustles”
- Book assistance or minimal tuition scholarship for the academic school year
- Creation of a digital portfolio/cv webpage
- Tours and skill development with businesses and nonprofits
- Professional mixers and networking events with working professionals, and U alumni in Salt Lake City
- Catered interactive workshops on self-branding, Handshake, LinkedIn, networking, negotiation strategies, and others
- Certificate of completion to include on a resume
- Coaches from the U Career Success will provide one-to-one oversight career development progress
Generation Next is generously funded in part by the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation’s support of the Black Student Success Initiative from the University Innovation Alliance as well as private donations.