Whether they’re working toward a certificate or a degree, students need the same skills to succeed

Some career skills are built over a lifetime. Paul had about five months.

After being stuck in the automotive industry for a decade, working long hours but going nowhere, Paul fast-tracked his career transition. He enrolled in an intensive course to earn a certificate that would launch him in the IT field.

The accelerated program left little room for missteps. But about six weeks into the course, difficulties with time management and the instructor’s teaching style made him fall behind.

For most students, persistence is all about the long haul. When InsideTrack coaches work with undergraduates, for instance, they prepare students to endure the ups and downs of a journey that takes years.

Paul’s certificate program was compressed into a fraction of that time. But whether students are working toward a traditional degree, a certificate or some other form of training, the same strengths and abilities push them over the finish line.

When Paul started working with his InsideTrack Coach Erin, he had no trouble identifying what he needed to complete the program. He had to manage his time more efficiently and build his job search strategies.

Erin had no trouble identifying what would be the key to his success.

“He could see his goal, and he asked for help,” she said. “If you don’t have those two, it rarely works in a way that makes you the best you can be.”

Right from their first meeting, Paul was eager to push himself, telling Erin he knew there were challenges he had to overcome. In each of their following sessions, which they held over videoconference, Erin started by helping him define his priorities.

“It was helpful for him to think about what he needed this week,” Erin explained. She would remind him what they talked about previously, and the short-term goals they discussed. “Then I’d ask him, ‘Catch me up on what happened and help me identify what’s most important to do today.’”

Taking it one step at a time, Paul completed the program and passed his exams to earn his certificate and launch his IT career.

Throughout his struggles, Erin said, Paul found his drive in his vision for a better life.

“He saw his talents being used much more in a different setting and he wanted to explore other opportunities,” Erin recalled. “It was really inspiring.”

Student name has been changed.

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