3 years ago, we had an idea.
There was a problem emerging where students were graduating from college and they were not able to get a job. At the time, I was a consultant advising large companies on strategic planning. Executives would tell us that they want to hire recent grads but felt they did not have the skills needed. Whether it was interview skills, basic etiquette or understanding of business problems, these young millennials were not articulating their value well. Simply, they were not ready for the workforce. Likewise, friends and colleagues would share their frustration as their kids were graduating from good schools, had excellent grades, but could not get a job. They even leaned on personal connections for opportunities for their students, but still, their graduates struggled to find employment. They did not understand why.
There was a problem and we had an idea of how to solve it.
After years of consulting, we tested the idea of using the same approach that we used to guide our executive clients but in a scaled manner understandable to recent grads. Our target client was accustomed to their structured life of academics, and we translated this need by creating a well-defined approach to help students focus and gain confidence. We would help them understand their value, focus on a career, learn how to sell themselves and execute well every time they spoke to a contact.
We began by testing these ideas with students from Ivy league schools to Community Colleges… students with tremendous potential but lacking the skills we were teaching. The consensus was, “We need this. We need this type of help.” We learned that our concepts were new and fresh to these students, as they were not being taught this in college. From there, Next Great Step was born.
Since launching we have helped hundreds of students and grads to land a job.
Launching a business in itself was a challenging and new venture. Like our students, we had to think big, reach out of our comfort zone and learn new skills that seemed daunting.
What have we learned?
Like our clients, we have made mistakes. We have had failures. At times, struggled. However, we learn something new every day…especially from each new client that we support. A new idea, a new approach, a new way of thinking.
We are so thankful for the students and parents who trust in our approach. Especially, when we see their employment success. We feel like proud parents to each student who we coach.
The foresight and collaboration of Peter Blacksberg, who asked the original question of “How can we fix this problem?”, and Harvey Hendler, our go-to master of solving problems, has been instrumental in turning Next Great Step into a reality and we are forever grateful for their continued encouragement as we expand our services.
Exceptional and special thanks go to my right-hand support, Lauren Aaron. I am so lucky to have your friendship and guidance every single day. And of course, my husband, Jeff Grunt, and my two boys, Brandon and Jacob, whose sound judgment and unending support keep me going.