During the weeklong academic break before Spring Semester, 38 Gustavus Adolphus College students took part in an intensive, three-day workshop focusing on professional development and career readiness. Held at locations across the Twin Cities, the inaugural Gustavus Women in Leadership (GWIL) Scholars Business Boot Camp was sponsored by the Gustavus Office of Career Development, the GWIL National Advisory Committee, and consulting firm CareerPrep.

During the workshop, female and male students at all stages of the career readiness and job search process attended career speakers and panels, business case studies, skill-building sessions on presentation and negotiation skills, and career planning activities geared toward preparing students to effectively navigate their early careers.

“It’s powerful for students to have time to completely focus on their career development and have employers, Gustavus alumni, senior business leaders, and Gustavus staff all coming together to help them launch their business career,” said Sara Wegmann, co-founder of CareerPrep.

“As a senior, I’ve been asked all year long about my plans after graduation,” Lydia Kennedy ’17 said. “The boot camp helped me understand that at 21 or 22 years old, it is completely okay to not know what you want to do. This prepared me to be excited for the future and the incredible opportunities ahead.”

Throughout the three days of the workshop, students were hosted for panels and networking at a variety of Twin Cities businesses, including:

Intereum, Inc.  – A certified Herman Miller office furniture dealer and provider of commercial audio visual and architectural wall offerings in Minneapolis, MN.

Deloitte – Deloitte provides industry-leading audit, consulting, tax, and advisory services to many of the world’s most admired brands, including 80 percent of the Fortune 500.

U.S. Bancorp – U.S. Bancorp is an American financial services holding company based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, that is the parent company of the U.S. Bank National Association, known as U.S. Bank, the 5th largest commercial bank in the United States.

Target – The Target Corporation, also known simply as Target, is the second-largest discount store retailer in the United States, behind Walmart, and a component of the S&P 500 Index.

Gravie – A Minneapolis-based startup company that helps individuals and businesses comparison-shop for health care in the private market and on MNsure, the state-run insurance exchange.

Schermer – A Minneapolis-based, globally-focused B2B marketing agency that builds and launches Buyer-Driven Brands for several of the world’s greatest companies, including Honeywell, GE, 3M, Deluxe, Piper Jaffray, Wells Fargo, and General Mills.

“As students embark on their career search, there is no better way to get to know a company than to visit and absorb the culture, meet their team, hear from leaders, and see how employees treat each other,” Wegmann said. “Relationships are critical to the job search process and getting off campus and into businesses to meet professionals helps students begin the process of building relationships to help guide their careers.”

“My biggest takeaway from the boot camp has to be the importance of informational interviews. A vast number of our speakers attributed their success to having reached out to Gustie alums for coffee, and making endless connections because of it,” Kennedy agreed. “Gusties look out for Gusties.”

Gustavus Women in Leadership is a volunteer-driven student/alumnae program whose purpose is to prepare, promote, and inspire Gustavus women in their professional and personal leadership development. Visit the GWIL website to learn more.


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin