Entry-Level Career Development Training
SWC University is in Full Swing!
Attention recent grads, SWC has a program just for you! As HR & Organizational Development Specialist at SWC Technology Partners, I get the opportunity to put together some amazing career development programs to help grow the careers of our entry-level hires.
One program that I am most proud of is our SWC University Program focused on taking entry level hires and getting them up to speed on everything they need to know to grow their technical skills and become top-notch consultants. Each semester we admit a new class into the program and it has received high reviews from both our instructors and participants. We also invite all our intern classes to join the trainings so that they get firsthand experience on what it is like to be a developer.
What does the career development program entail?
SWC University, or our consulting “boot camp,” consists of on-the-job curriculum structured to turn entry-level developers into consultants. The program consists of trainings, exercises, lunch and learns, and presentations from our seasoned professionals. It is self-paced and can take anywhere from 15 to 45 days to complete. The curriculum is 80% technical focused on activities like coding standards, learning SWC’s proprietary catalyst language, design, testing, tools, etc. There are also components focused on business acumen and training participants on project management skills, teamwork, consulting 101, and business strategy. As part of the talent development portion of the program, SWC also provides each new hire with a career advocate.
I love the trainings, they are informative and fun. I also love the [post-training] assessments. They let me apply what I learned in the classroom to solve real client problems and be a good consultant.
I feel like I have learned more in the last two weeks at SWC than all of my college career and internships combined.
What is a career advocate?
All new hires receive a career advocate. Your career advocate is a senior level team member or principal who not only serves as your mentor, but someone who actually advocates on your behalf to make sure you get the right projects, learn new skills, or get exposure to different technologies that align with your long-term career goals. All career advocates are leaders within the organization so they have the ability (and authority) to empower and develop our team members. They also help show new hires the ropes, have regular meetings, and put together a formal career roadmap and learning plan so you can truly pursue your passion and make an impact at SWC.
My career advocate is awesome. She has helped me get on projects that I enjoy and are interesting business cases to me. She knew I wanted to be in project management and has really taken me under her wings and helped me get there.
Whenever there is a new technology or language I want to learn my career advocate makes sure I am given the opportunity.
Does career development training work?
The program has been a huge success and we have many happy SWC University graduates who are changing the world of consulting as we know it. These individuals have increased their technical, leadership, and overall consulting skills and have provided tremendous value to our clients.
Some of our 2015 accomplishments of the SWC Talent Development Initiative Programs include:
- 120+ Talent development events
- 155+ Hours of training programs
- 1,550+ Participants
My first client project was a success because of everything I learned in SWC University. I was adequately prepared and felt a huge sense of accomplishment at the project and service I delivered.
SWC’s talent development initiatives are great! They try to make them fun for everyone, whether it’s a lunch and learn, panel discussion, or team building exercise.
Why does SWC do this?
SWC works hard to attract and retain Chicago’s top talent. We know that the key to business success lies in our ability to produce a happy, fulfilled team and fun atmosphere where our employees want to come to work each day and enjoy what they do. Therefore we are committed to investing in all of our new hires and giving them the skills and real world experience they need to grow their careers, become leaders, and make SWC a home for many years to come. As we like to say, “happy consultants make happy customers.”