Students Up their Workplace Game During Chamber’s Third Career Edge Workshop

Monday, April 24, 2017

Main News Photo

During the Greater Irvine Chamber’s Career Edge workshop on April 22, about two dozen students enrolled at Irvine Valley College (IVC) took advantage of an opportunity to learn business etiquette, adapting communications techniques to various business situations, and how to pitch a product, proposal, or position.

The four-part Career Edge series is facilitated by volunteer mentors and presenters from a variety of professions.

First-time presenter Jonathan Obest, of Modern Woodmen Fraternal Financial, said participating in the third session of Career Edge, “Business Etiquette and Effective Workplace Behaviors,” provided him with a good opportunity to give back and help those who will likely be future leaders in the business community.

“It’s great to see students taking advantage of such a valuable program,” he said. “They’ll have skills that put them ahead of others who are at the same point in their careers.”

Corina Oxford, studying accounting at IVC, said she enjoyed participating in the Communications Styles exercise and finding out where she falls among the four styles that were identified.

“I learned at times I need to think like a leader and other times I need think like a team player,” she said.

Daniel Serra, who learned of Career Edge in his marketing class at IVC, said, “I’ve always been interested in improving in any way that will help me in a business work environment. Today, I learned how to self-analyze and to understand how others might receive information, so I can relate and communicate better with others and solve problems together.”

Serra, who is pursuing a second associate’s degree in business management (his first in is general studies with a concentration in paralegal studies), added, “I have a full-time job and I’m a parent, so being able to attend on a Saturday is perfect for me.”

students attending workshopThe program, offered in collaboration with Irvine Valley College and the University of California, Irvine Division of Continuing Education, provides students with the opportunity to learn soft skills that employers seek in workers. Upon completion of each workshop, participants receive a Certificate of Completion.

Along with Obest, serving as mentors or presenters for the day were fellow chamber members Joe Alvarez, technology consultant, Omni IT Solutions; Brain Andersen, director of business development, First Class Connection Corp.; Bill Cunningham, CEO/developer, BERT Foundation, Inc.; Brian Dozer, executive director, Irvine Campus, Webster University; Dana Hindman, project development coordinator, PERC Water; as well as Linda DiMario, vice president, Economic Development & Tourism, Greater Irvine Chamber, and Pepper Russell, executive assistant, Economic Development & Tourism, Greater Irvine Chamber.

Because of the success of the Career Edge pilot program, plans are underway to scale the program to include students from other schools.

Business professionals interested in becoming a Career Edge mentor or presenter should contact Pepper Russell at or (949) 502-4129.

Top photo: Dana Hindman, project development coordinator, PERC Water, discusses leadership in the workplace.

Bottom photo: Students listen during Career Edge, “Business Etiquette and Effective Workplace Behaviors” workshop.

Category: Chamber News