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Life Strategies, Brought to You by the Charles D. Close School by Christian Larsen, Communications
Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship

The professional world is changing; what a job looks like is changing. In order to keep up with these changes, the higher education system needs to adapt as well. Students today want more out of their college experience. They want to learn skills that empower their individual career paths. Skills like public speaking, oral presentations, writing, negotiating, and self-branding are more important than ever to differentiate yourself from other candidates. Dr. Roy Carriker understands this and came to the Close School to teach these skills. His Life Strategies courses, created for the Close School of Entrepreneurship, prepare students for their careers in the constantly changing working world.

Dr. Carriker's decorated career took him all over the world. Through his time as an executive, he saw first-hand the effects of globalization. Toward the end of his industry and consulting careers, he noticed how dramatically the world had changed. However, he did not see higher education reflecting this, until he saw the Close School. Dr. Carriker realized that the Charles D. Close School was a platform to teach students skills they truly need. He believes, "People are going to be the entrepreneurs of their own lives. The same tools that are important to entrepreneurs are invaluable to everyone going forward."

To prepare students for this challenge, Dr. Carriker developed the Life Strategies courses. These courses are in the Close School curriculum and are also open to students in other schools. The strategies taught in these courses revolve around thinking holistically like an entrepreneur throughout your career. While they do pertain to new venture creation, they are not solely focused on starting a business. Realizing that some students feel that they do not learn essential skills from their traditional college experiences, Dr. Carriker created a solution that focuses on real-world application.

Dr. Carriker mentions that a significant amount of jobs being created nowadays are in young companies. Learning how to think like an entrepreneur helps students, "If for no other reason than understanding these companies and how they behave." The advances in technology and globalization have made it possible to offload specific jobs to other companies or people. This creates a market for companies that can do one function well and offload departments like legal, HR, etc. to others that specialize in those functions. By doing this, companies can better gauge their expenses during peaks and valleys in their business and not pay for a service that they do not need at a given time. These advances create opportunities to forge your own career path and understanding them, Dr. Carriker says, "can improve your probability of getting a job."

There is no typical career path in the future and opportunities will continue to expand. Still, these opportunities are wasted without the necessary skills. These are the skills taught in the Life Strategies courses. No matter which path you choose, Dr. Carriker and the rest of the Close School make sure you are prepared.