DC students to take part in first annual career readiness conference

January 8, 2021

Defiance College is committed to preparing students for their future careers. So much so, that DC has created a distinctive career-focused program called Jacket Journey. A major part of a student's Jacket Journey is participating in the first annual Jacket Days - a multi-day event focused on career readiness in a format mirroring a professional conference. This year, due to the pandemic, it will be held virtually.

Jacket Days will provide Defiance College students with an opportunity to learn career perspectives from a variety of leading industry professionals, engage in a series of career-focused workshops, and take part in various rally sessions.

"When we created our Jacket Journey program, we knew we had something special. Now, with the start of Jacket Days, our campus has the chance to see this powerful career readiness program take off," says Defiance College president, Dr. Richanne C. Mankey. "Even as we acknowledge a sobering start to this calendar year, what we know is that Jacket Journey, combined with a Defiance College education, prepares our students to manage and lead in times of uncertainty."

Richard Ekman, president of the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) since 2000, will be the opening keynote speaker for Jacket Days. Ekman has initiated many new programs and services to colleges and universities on major issues in independent higher education. During his tenure, CIC has formed partnerships with the American Academic Leadership Institute to offer the Executive and Senior Leadership Academies, and with the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation to manage the Visiting Fellows program. Previously, Ekman served as vice president for programs of Atlantic Philanthropies and as secretary and senior program officer of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

"Having Dr. Richard Ekman speak at our inaugural Jacket Days is an honor" states Dr. Agnes Caldwell, vice president for academic affairs. "Dr. Ekman is uniquely qualified given both his excellent leadership in higher education and his own very successful career."

Since Jacket Days is designed in a professional conference format, DC students will be highly encouraged to wear business attire and actively contribute in discussions. Each session of Jacket Days begins at 9:00 a.m. and runs through 4:00 p.m. Numerous breaks, contests, and giveaways are built in to the event to help keep students engaged.

Jacket Journey is part of Defiance College's newly created Institute for Career Readiness and Lifelong Learning - which also houses the career development office. The DC Institute helps students strengthen their resumes, improve their job interview skills, find internships, and more. The College's Jacket Journey program aims to weave soft skill education into all aspects of campus life. Soft skill education includes having the ability to adapt, think creatively, and then communicate ideas clearly. This new Institute looks to continually improve on Defiance College's already impressive 96.8% job placement rate. More information about Jacket Journey can be found here.

Defiance College, chartered in 1850, is an independent, liberal arts-based institution in Northwest Ohio offering more than 40 undergraduate programs of study as well as graduate programs in education and business. Defiance College has received national recognition for its educational experiences in service and engagement.