Boot Camp brings together students, alumni and business leaders.
Randolph-Macon College students learned firsthand the importance of career planning
and preparation at the second annual R-MC Boot Camp, an intensive, hands-on workshop
held January 3-4, 2014 at the Wyndham Virginia Crossings Conference Center in Glen
Allen, Virginia. Boot Camp was sponsored by the Randolph-Macon
EDGE, a four-year program designed to help students
identify their career passions, compete for meaningful employment and apply to graduate
school. Linda Carne, executive director of the EDGE, says
people often ask her why it’s called Boot Camp.
“I answer by paraphrasing the dictionary definition: a program or situation that
helps people become much better at doing something in a short period of time; or
a facility or program in which attendees participate in a rigidly structured routine,”
says Carne. “Both of these definitions describe what happened during the 48-hour
Boot Camp that hosted 75 of our students.” Twenty-six majors
were represented at Boot Camp.
Finding the EDGE
Throughout the two-day program, Boot Camp participants learned how to develop their
own EDGE brand and communicate their “personal stories”
with confidence and clarity. Several hours were spent helping students first identify
their strengths and capabilities and then citing specific examples of how they leverage
those strengths and talents. Students also identified their communication styles,
practiced the essentials of business-dining etiquette at a formal dinner, and formulated
an “action plan” for career success. Sessions included The Art of Communication,
Communication Styles Interview Preparation, and Telling Your Story, which was presented
by Whitney Forstner ’98, principal at Momentum Resources, LLC and president of the
R-MC Society of Alumni.
More than 50 R-MC alumni served as interviewers in a
Simulated Interview Program. Business partners included Mead Westvaco, Genworth
Financial, Northwestern Mutual, Verizon, Capital One, University of Virginia, Dominion
Partners, Enterprise, Inc., APC, Inc. and BB&T. Parents of R-MC current and
former students, including Mark Santschi, Anne and Wes Morck and Sue Schick, offered
their assistance and business acumen in the Simulated Interview Program.
A closing reception offered students the opportunity to put into practice their
networking skills with a large group of R-MC constituents and supporters.
“Networking is not job hunting,” says Carne. “Our students learn that networking
is building a base of resources and potential mentors for the future. It is developing
relationships with alumni and community leaders. That relationship begins with a
conversation, the hardest first step of networking.”
Overall, students engaged with more than 100 alumni and business and organization
partners during Boot Camp—an experience that Carne says will benefit them throughout
“They did not survive Boot Camp,” she says. “They thrived. And
we are so proud of every one of them!”
Boot Camp is just one of many career development initiatives offered by the
EDGE. It is funded by donors who believe in the intense experiential
model of the EDGE Boot Camp and the
four-year personal and career development program that is the EDGE