Friday, October 18, 2013

Competitive Edge

by Heebeom Yang

I am an officer of Phi Theta Kappa. My chapter at LaGuardia Community College is named Alpha Theta Phi. As a Southern District New York regional Chapter, we went to the  Honors in Action conference from October 4th to 6th at Kingsborough Community College.  Before going there, I was interested in attending the event because it will be the first conference that I have attended in my entire life.
During the three days, I got lots of information about Phi Theta Kappa from guest speakers and regional officers. For me, the most impressive of part of the conference was attending a workshop on Competitive Edge, which was lead by a regional officer.
If we are planning to apply for scholarships, transfer to a four-year college, or prepare for interviews for a job then this Competitive Edge program is one of the greatest tools for all Phi Theta Kappa members. It is a self-paced, professional development plan available exclusively to Phi Theta Kappa members. Members will have to complete certain activities and watch instructional videos designed to strengthen your marketable skills, such as communication, teamwork, critical thinking, goal setting, professional etiquette and more.
We will need to create an online portfolio using “Mahara” (similar to e-Portfolio) which shows all our experiences and information in one place; it is hosted by the website. Then we can share our portfolio with scholarship providers, college admissions officials and potential employers, as well as with those writing letters of recommendation for us and those reading scholarship admission essays or resumes. There are core requirements at each level, but we may choose from a variety of electives which personalize your competitive edge experience based on your interests and desired areas for improvement. There are 5 levels to complete and once you complete all 5, you are rewarded with a certificate of completion and recognition from Phi Theta Kappa Headquarters.
Through Five Star Competitive Edge, I have already learned the importance of   communicating with others to set goals, manage conflicts, and successfully complete tasks and projects. After attending this information session at Kingsborough Community College, I am even more of an advocate for using the program to develop our professional skills.

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