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Students Hone Soft Skills during Greater Irvine Chamber’s Career Edge Soft Skills Workshop

Monday, February 05, 2018

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The Greater Irvine Chamber hosted about two dozen students from area colleges during its Spring 2018 Career Edge workshop Be the Most Effective New Employee!, as part of the Practical Critical Thinking & Problem Solving component of the overall soft skills workshop series.

The Feb. 3 course was taught by Dr.Aaron Shaffer, organizational development expert working with organizations to identify, assess, coach, develop, and retain key talent. Shaffer has held senior leadership roles at MFlex, Motorola (a Google company), ITT Industries, and Network Appliance, and currently teaches at Webster University and UC, Irvine. As adjunct faculty, Shaffer teaches MBA and Executive MBA programs including: strategic thinking, leading change, team development, innovation, global teamwork, presentation, critical thinking and problem solving.

Career Edge, a simple but important solution to a challenge that Orange County companies face: new employees who arrive with the knowledge and technical skills necessary but lack satisfactory business writing, presentation, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills, is facilitated by volunteer mentors and presenters from a variety of professions.

Workshop facilitators were Julie Cho, Law Firm of Julie Cho; Dr. Brian Dozer, director, Webster University; Andrea Russell, Harvard Risk Management; and Pepper Russell, executive assistant, Economic Development and Tourism, Greater Irvine Chamber.

More than 200 Irvine Valley College students have participated in the pilot phase of the Greater Irvine Chamber’s Career Edge program over the past three years. Because of the success of the pilot program, Career Edge is now being extended to students enrolled at any college or university located in Irvine.

The next workshop of the four-part Career Edge on Saturday, April 7, will focus on Successful Business Etiquette & Workplace Behaviors, taught by Julie Hallsted, Certified Paralegal and Advanced Certified Paralegal currently managing legal support services for Island Restaurants. The workshop will cover how to adapt and leverage the workplace environment; explore basic business practices, etiquette and professional attitudes and characteristics that will define a new employee and contribute to their success. There is no fee for student participation. For more information and to register, click here.

Feb. 3 workshop photos can be viewed here.

For more information and business professionals interested in becoming a Career Edge mentor or presenter should contact Pepper Russell at or (949) 502-4129.

Category: Chamber News

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