Real Education. Real Results.

Mini-clinics to assist in sharpening your business skills

DCTC Director of Business and Management

DCTC Director of Business and Management

by Lisa Bah
DCTC Director of Business and Management & Apple Valley Site Coordinator

Beginning Saturday, Feb. 20, more than 200 members of our community, including faculty and staff from DCTC as well as industry experts, will start donating more than 2,000 hours of their time to help others sharpen their competitive edge in the job marketplace through a series of Friday evening and Saturday morning sessions.

DCTC is taking the lead to meet community needs through a new project called Your EDGE, which is a series of free, weekend career mini-clinics on the realities of the work world. Everyone committing their time toward Your EDGE is working without compensation for the betterment of the community as a whole.

The series of topical seminars is geared to DCTC students and alumni or active-duty military personnel and veterans and their families who have ever been enrolled at any of the 32 institutions in the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system.

The idea came about when several DCTC faculty and staff, including me, were discussing how nerve-racking the job search process can be. We decided as members of the education and business community that we should “pay it forward” to help job seekers carve out successful careers. Our goal is to sharpen the job and job-hunting skills of Your EDGE participants—helping people build stellar resumes and tweak their interviewing skills while providing guidance for a fulfilling work life.

Your EDGE will kick off Saturday, Feb. 20, 2010, from 9 a.m. to noon at the Partners in Higher Education building at 14200 Cedar Avenue in Apple Valley, Minn. The project will run through Saturday, May 1, 2010. Each weekend will offer one or two featured topics with industry experts. Specific dates for each topic will be announced the first week of February.

Understanding that money is tight for unemployed and underemployed individuals, we are offering the Your EDGE mini-clinic series free of charge to the following:

  • DCTC students
  • DCTC alumni
  • Active-duty U.S. Armed Forces personnel and their families who are or have been enrolled at one of the 32 higher education institutions in the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system
  • Veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families who are or have been enrolled at one of the 32 higher education institutions in the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system


Competition in today’s job climate is tough. Many of us know people who’ve been boxed out of a job due to downsizing or business relocation. Others may wish to shine brighter on their resumes or during job interviews. By bringing together industry experts from small business, manufacturing, technology, major corporations, the military, employment specialist firms, retiree groups and more, DCTC will provide a wide array of information, tips, tricks and advice about real-world employment expectations.

Pre-registration is required, as space is limited for many of the mini-clinics. Anyone wishing to have their resumes or cover letters reviewed, or would like to go through a mock interview, will need to submit their documents in advance.


Below are just some of the featured topics of YOUR EDGE:

  • From Warrior to Worker—Obstacles and Challenges as Two Cultures Collide
    • This session explores answers to employment after re-entry, pending deployment, employer perceptions and misconceptions and more
  • Picture-Perfect Resumes: How to Make Your Skills Shine
    • Resumes are a lot like photos-employers see hundreds of snapshots of prospective hires, but only the best get framed for an interview
    • The first hour of the session will highlight how to turn resumes and cover letters into personal portraits
    • People will then meet individually with a team of reviewers for pointers and feedback
  • Develop Your Brand: Give Yourself the Polish You Deserve
    • Critical seconds count when you consider that first impressions are made during the first 3-5 seconds you walk into a room
    • Learn how to project the best first and last impression as you enter and leave a room
  • Beyond Luck and Start Pedaling
    • Your career is like riding a bicycle
    • Career development and job search require focus, energy, motivation, learning, networking and more
    • Learn how to keep pedaling to achieve your educational and career goals
    • Reframe your thinking and push your energy in a positive direction
  • Networking, Communication, and Life Coaching: Get Your Message Heard
    • If communication is at the core of our success, networking is the path to our success
    • Manage obstacles to personal and professional success, listen in a way that affirms value, learn to write a solid “elevator speech” and more
  • Electronic Portfolios: Connect Your Experience and Talents Visually
    • E-folios are increasingly requested by employers
    • Bring along your resume and electronic images and start your free E-folio in this session
    • Learn tips to help you succeed in ongoing business development
  • The Interview: Your Foot is in the Door-Now What?
    • Make the most of landing an interview, and practice your skills in a real environment
    • Industry experts will team up to review your cover letter/resume, interview you and provide feedback
    • Who knows-you may make a connection!
  • For Women Only: Savvy Professional Women Know These Dirty Little Secrets. Do You?
    • Men are men and women are women, until we enter the business world
    • Women soon learn that professional communities are not a level playing field
    • A panel of professional women with decades of experience have been brought together to share their experience and advice
    • Leave your naivety and stereotypes at the door and join in on a candid, interactive discussion about how to succeed in the office, the boardroom and more
    • This is not about survival-this is about success

Whether you’re a student about to graduate and seeking to land your first professional interview, or a seasoned professional wanting to learn how to create an electronic portfolio, a fresh perspective can always help. Almost everyone can benefit from free career-building assistance and advice. Your EDGE is a way for community members to connect with other community members-not only people seeking employment, but also people who want to redesign and realign careers they’ve already created.

For more information, please call 651-423-8644, or e-mail Your EDGE
If you are interested in volunteering, please call 651-423-8601, or e-mail EDGE Volunteer

Visit Your EDGE for more detailed information on the project.