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Recent grads sharpen leadership skills with Lake Forest Graduate School of Management

July 15, 2022
Meghan O'Toole

Lake Forest College continued its partnership with Lake Forest Graduate School of Management (LFGSM) to provide new graduates with a Leadership Skills course, funded through the Butler Family Foundation.

This year, the virtual course focused on preparing graduates for leadership in the context of the evolving and increasingly hybrid workplace in 2022, which requires adaptability and resilience on uncharted levels. 

Through interactive webinars with industry professionals, graduates gained insight into vital career skills such as crafting a personal brand, developing resilience, and making data-driven decisions. As they completed the program, students earned badges they can include on resumes.

Digital badges are becoming an increasingly common endorsement of leadership and management training that employers look for in potential candidates, according to the College’s Gorter Family Career Advancement Center.

Louis Lopez '22 appreciated the opportunity for professional development as he searches for a job after graduating. “I think gaining these badge programs will definitely help me stand out among other candidates who are in similar positions because it shows I am actively taking steps to develop myself professionally,” Lopez said.

The LFGSM courses also provide graduates with a valuable example of their continued learning, which can be a strength and help them stand out among other candidates when searching for a job or applying to graduate school. This program was offered exclusively—and at no cost—to members of the College’s Class of 2021, thanks to a generous donation from the Butler Family Foundation.

“For me, the most important takeaway had to do with the idea of networking,” Lopez said. “During the first session, I learned that the most useful way to present yourself and talk about yourself is to keep it short and sweet. Say something that is true, presents your passions, and frames what you do as an answer to someone’s problem.”

Graduates took the opportunity to put their networking skills to the test in the final course session, a virtual panel and mixer with top executives who could speak to the most important skills and qualities in the 2022 workplace. Panelists included:

  • Sara Barbera '93, Portfolio Optimization Manager for Americas for DePuy Synthes, the orthopedics arm of Johnson & Johnson
  • Geoff Curtis '97, Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Chief Communications Officer at Horizon Therapeutics
  • Tamara Smith '80, President and CEO of DC Primary Care Association (DCPCA)
  • Jeffrey J. Anderson, President and CEO of Lake Forest Graduate School of Management

“The generosity of the Butler Family Foundation in funding this course is an excellent example of our Forester community coming together to provide outstanding support to our newest graduates,” said Colleen Monks, director for the Gorter Family Career Advancement Center. “Programs like these give our students and alumni an edge as candidates and new employees, providing a tangible certification as well as new perspectives they can use to navigate change in the world of work.”

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