Students gain career-relevant skills over the summer.

Career Center Design Thinking, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Fellowships & Student Research Get Involved
August 21, 2020

When internships and summer jobs were threatened by COVID-19, Denison pivoted to provide students and graduates with our exclusive Summer Accelerator 2020 — serving up intensive skill and knowledge-building through workshops, internships, academic mini-courses on a wide range of topics, and a level-up leadership challenge for student leaders.

“Students can’t afford to let a summer go to waste,” said Denison President Adam Weinberg in a New York Times article about the program.“They need to continue marching toward their career launch.”

More than 600 students engaged with faculty, alumni, and parents, as well as academic and business professionals across a spectrum of fields during the five-week program.

Business Essentials 101: hosted by the Knowlton Center for Career Exploration

During this five-week program, students explored the business world and learned about the foundations of success from leading professionals across multiple industries and sectors. Students customized their experience based on their interests in Finance & Accounting, Human Resources & Recruiting, Information Technology & Data, or Marketing & Sales.

Program Stats:

  • 179 students across 37 majors
  • Students participated in four tracks:
    • Finance & Accounting
    • Marketing and Sales
    • Information Technology and Data Science
    • Human Resources and Recruiting
  • 43 total presenters in fields ranging from health care to digital marketing to financial services to nonprofits
    • 21 alumni, including four Board of Trustees members, and two Denison parents
    • 2 New York Times Best Selling Authors
  • More than 45 hours of virtual engagement and instruction provided
  • Countless offers for continued support, mentorship, and guidance

Student responses:

“We were given so much information, encouragement, and opportunity. We even had case studies and wrap-up discussions on how to present this experience in an interview or resume.”

“The speakers had new advice and different things to say and they built off of each other super well. I found that they helped me identify what I need to improve on in the future by explaining what we should be doing now.”

Virtual internships through the Red Frame Lab

As Red Frame Consultants, students gained real-world experience while being supported, coached, and mentored at every turn by a facilitation group of staff, alumni, and business leaders. Partnering on a variety of real-world projects, students worked individually and in small groups to take business problems from start to solution.

Projects included: analyzing data, building tools for supply chain and supplier evaluation, developing marketing strategies, conducting market research, examining brand assets, reframing brand connections to customers, developing a better web user experience, and helping small businesses respond to the effects of COVID-19.

Enjoy this video about the Red Frame Consulting Program and read more about the Summer Accelerator 2020:

Program Stats:

  • 102 students across 25 majors
  • 46 teams worked with 38 clients
  • 33 alumni hosted 146 one-on-one coaching sessions
  • 7 offers (and growing) by clients for students to continue working with their client this summer
  • 11 alumni speakers on innovation, market research, women’s leadership, and advice from founders/CEOs
  • 10 professional development sessions on project management, branding, design thinking, research, pitching, and presentations

Student responses:

“Because of Red Frame Consulting, I have a job working for a consultancy. I will be working with a woman who manages high profile clients and I will be working with the clients directly.”

“I have strengthened my problem solving and communication skills and feel more prepared in entering the workforce.”

Client responses:

“I could not have been more pleased with the process and the outcome. The team was amazing, and the work product they delivered was above and beyond my expectations, and could easily have been the work of far more seasoned professionals.”

“It’s been a big treat working with the team! They did work like new associates at Bain Consulting.”

Academic Summer Mini-courses:

The Lisska Center for Scholarly Engagement launched 12 summer mini-courses for students to engage in intellectual conversation with their favorite faculty members and fellow students. They explored topics including political ideologies, the legacy of the Vietnam war, food history across time and culture, and even GRE preparation.

Program Stats:

  • 317 students participated
  • Twelve fascinating faculty and student-led courses including:
    • Political Ideologies: Associate Professor Heather Pool
    • Economic Justice: Professor Ted Burczak
    • Plagues and Peoples: From the Black Death to Covid-19: Professor Adam Davis
    • In Touch/Out of Touch: Creatively Crafting a New Normal: Sara Abou Rashed ‘21
    • The Legacy of the Vietnam War: Professor Andy Katz
    • A Hopeful Book Club for an Uncertain Time: Sarah Scheuer ‘22 & Elena Rogers ‘22
    • Applying to Medical and Dental schools: Sam Swentosky ‘21 & guest speakers
    • Food History Across Time and Culture: Alexandra Dayka ‘23
    • GRE Study Group: Jess Spitzer ‘22 & guest speakers
    • Forging Creativity in Isolation: Adam Venrick ‘21 & Scotia McMullen ‘20
    • Intro to Excel: tips and tricks to make your life easier: Matthew Kelsey ‘21
    • Crafting your Career in the Arts: Assistant Professor Michael Morrison & Eisner Center Operations Manager Katherine Peter

Student responses:

“Dr. Davis’s use of breakout rooms and small group sessions following lectures allowed for greater involvement in discussions, and also let me meet and engage with people I had never encountered on campus. The bi-weekly evening meeting format allowed me to continue my research as a summer scholar, while providing me with a completely different academic experience.”

“I graduated in May, and taking this course was the perfect way to end my academic career at Denison. Not only did it enlighten me about an incredibly relevant topic, but it also allowed me to stay intellectually engaged this summer and to reflect with other Denisonians about what I’d learned.”

Level-up Leadership Challenge:

Denison’s Community Leadership & Involvement Center (CLIC) is where students develop leadership and organizational skills that translate to success on campus and in the professions. Veteran student leaders and alumni shared their tips and tricks for building strong teams and getting things done.

  • 7 students participated
  • Daily programs topics included:
    • Authentic leadership
    • S.M.A.R.T. Goals and project management
    • Teamwork and effective delegation
    • Running effective meetings
    • Gratitude and apathy
    • Motivating the middle
    • Collaboration and networking
    • Navigating group conflict
    • Time management and boundaries
    • Leader Resilience
    • Emotionally intelligent leadership
    • Mentor-Mentees
    • Strengths-based Leadership
    • Leadership traits and hope/optimism
    • Ethical Leadership
    • Mapping your leadership journey
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