Genesys Works Helps Students Build 21st Century Skills

Last month the Center for College Affordability and Productivity released a study that found that nearly 48 percent of college graduates were employed in jobs that did not require a bachelor’s degree. This study highlights the trend towards underemployment, a situation that occurs when over-educated workers take relatively low-skilled jobs. 

As researchers and politicians investigate and debate the causes of underemployment in the media, Genesys Works is actively empowering Young Professionals to rise to overcome these economic realities. Genesys Works helps students look beyond the traditional lessons they're taught in the classroom to build the skills they will need to be successful in professional careers. While other high school students prepare for their careers within the walls of the traditional classroom, Genesys Works interns have the opportunity to build skills through the combination of classroom and on-the-job training. In short, Genesys Works provides the framework to reimagine education.

So where does reimagination begin? Ask any student or alumni of our program, and they will tell you it all starts with a nursery rhyme. Yes, we are proposing that career success is rooted in a recitation of Jack and Jill, complete with expressive intonations and often including an interpretive dance. As Sai Thao, Class 5 Genesys Works student notes, “It puts everyone out of their comfort zone. You have to scream! Those silly things help you build your confidence and communication skills from the ground up.”

The nursery rhyme speech is one of the many assignments Young Professionals conquer during their summer training. Each activity helps to build the 21st century skills they will need in the workplace. Nursery rhymes build confidence in public speaking, improvisational skits help students think on their feet, and water balloon fights serve as leadership platforms for students to strategize and mobilize their peers. Perhaps the latter example is an excuse to incorporate fun, but needless to say, students are evaluated on the skills they master and execute, rather than just knowledge consumed or worksheets completed. This approach to evaluation resonates with Sai, who notes, “Education is not all about grades. When I’m in the school system, I'm focused on what grades I get. At Genesys Works, you focus on what you can actually do and the ways you act towards others—you’re more than a letter grade! You’re evaluated on things that will count later in your life.”

Supervisors agree that Genesys Works Young Professionals leave the program with a career advantage. Deluxe supervisor, Rob Collier notes, “The skills the interns learn can be transferable to whatever career they choose. This is a great opportunity for them.” These skills that students build over the summer are tested and honed through their year-long internships. Students have the opportunity to receive feedback from supervisors to shape their understanding of the skills they will need as industry professionals. This is the Genesys Works advantage.  

So stay tuned, Genesys Works stakeholders! As reports about unemployment and underemployment surface, we will continue to empower students with the tools they need thrive in their careers. We look forward to sharing how reimagination continues to yield long-term success. 

If you're interested in sharing your 21st century skills with our Young Professionals, contact Development Director Andrea Satter at for more information.

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