June 2016

Innovation Grant Teaches Students Soft Skills

Student Life and Leadership Coordinators Mary Gerst and Stephanie Henningsen are working to ensure that SPC students are learning social and soft skills. After attending a leadership training, Gerst and Henningsen were inspired to create the Graduate Leadership Academy and received a $3,500 Innovation Grant from the St. Petersburg College Foundation to launch the project.

“One of the main points that employers make is that while people may have an education, they often lack in soft skills,” Gerst said. “It’s so important to learn customer service and how to act in a workplace setting.” Gerst and Henningsen lead training sessions which include Meyers-Brigg personality tests, etiquette lessons, mock interviews and “mocktail” parties where students learn the art of networking.

This dynamic duo also hosts etiquette dinners with new Student Government Association officers and Lunch and Learn sessions to teach leadership and personal success skills.

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