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[Dr. Jason Treadway, Director, STEM Institute, Dallas College]: We consistently hear from industry that students entering the workforce lack soft skills such as problem solving, critical thinking, communication, collaboration and time management.
in fact, one industry professional put it this way,
"we hire for hard skills and fire because of soft skills."
Students leaving college to enter the workforce may look great on paper,
however industry is looking for the complete package, and soft skills play an important role in the hiring and retention of employees.
The minitern program provides students a unique opportunity to develop their soft skills in a non-threatening corporate environment.
Students who participate in the minitern program are able to develop their soft skills and will enter the workforce with a distinct advantage.
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[Michael Bailey, mINiTERN faculty advisor, Professor of Mathematics Brookhaven Campus,]: Many of us forget what it was like the first day on the job and may be feeling out of place.
People speak really a different language with acronyms, etc.
They have different expectations of us, we may have a different attire and so...and even different levels of accountability about being on time and etc., and how we show up.
And so helping students first acclimate to that new culture, it's...it's exciting to watch them move from anxiety and nervousness to success and kind of holding themselves in a professional manner.
[speaker at event]: Sharyland utilities has reached out to team energy vision to provide recommendations that will minimize the impact of natural disasters...
[Elizabeth Smith Program Manager, Hunt Consolidated inc.]: So what happens is, we give students problems and questions that the company may not have time or resources to develop currently and maybe in the next five to 10 years...
It's estimated that we actually want to implement this for next year...
So the students do the research and look at these problems and then they come in and they talk to the company and tell us all about what they found.
It actually fuels a little bit of conversation in the company and it makes people start to talk, makes people really start to get engaged and think up ideas that we can get out of the box.
[Michael Bailey, mINiTERN faculty advisor, Professor of Mathematics Brookhaven Campus]: students learn how to do project planning. they learn how to handle a meeting -
each of the students take a turn at facilitating a meeting. some of those meetings are in person at the headquarters or the business office, and some of those are conference calls which are a really common tool that's used in today's business. so they learn some practical business skills.
[Josh Duttlinger, Project Manager, Hunt Consolidated, inc.]: Our senior leadership is obviously older, as they're senior leadership, so having young fresh eyes look at a problem that's five to 10 years away for us helps invigorate the company and bring new ideas.
[Hunter Hunt, CEO, Hunt Consolidated, inc.]: I think if you...if you present these students with a challenge or opportunity, you give them the proper guidance, and they will need guidance.
This is the first time many of these students have ever been in a real world work experience.
But if you give them the guidance and the support, you'll be amazed with the creativity and commitment that these students will turn to the...the project at hand.
[speaker at event]: It was also a 40 percent increase from 2015.
[Elizabeth Smith Program Manager, Hunt Consolidated inc.]: Our company has benefitted from the student perspective because it has allowed people to really start to think outside of the box.
The students come in and bring in a fresh new set of eyes on ideas that people may have let lull and students bring something in and people get excited about it again.
[Josh Duttlinger, Project Manager, Hunt Consolidated, inc.]: We view this as a first step into eventually hiring on a full-time employee.
We bring them in - a group eight to 10 - usually two to three students stand out. From that we select a leader for the next group for the following semester.
Hopefully, that leader eventually becomes an intern for us and at that point we...we know the student through and through and we shoot to hire them.
[Michael Bailey, mINiTERN faculty advisor, Professor of Mathematics Brookhaven Campus ]: The minitern program requires very little resources and time invested on behalf of the employer and so it acts as a pre-screen to their actual intern program, their full-time intern program.
there's no cost to businesses, the students aren't paid for this mini-internship, their payment is in experience.
[Hunter Hunt, CEO, Hunt Consolidated, inc.]: i think the minitern program is one of those really unique programs that takes a student very early in the process, exposes them to corporate America, exposes them to what it's like to have a real job, be part of a real team working on real projects to find solutions, and it opens their eyes up in a way that...that they can't fathom.
and it provides...it provides a growth opportunity they're never going to get in a classroom, and it's why we need more companies to take more students so that we can have more of an impact on Dallas.
[text on screen]: mINiTERN providing professional experience for community college students
[text on screen]: Produced by Media Services LeCroy Center, Dallas College